The slowdown that is already being noticed in employment in this second part of the year will worsen in 2024 and will have a much more significant impact on smaller companies, mainly microSMEs. This is according to a study published this Wednesday by Cepyme and Randstad Research. Furthermore, if the reduction in the maximum working day by law that the Government plans to implement were taken into account, this slowdown would be greater, since it would have a “negative impact” on business productivity and, therefore, on job creation. as predicted by the general secretary of the SME employers’ association, Luis Aribayos, during the press conference.
And this economic slowdown that is already being transferred to the labor market is not trivial, since it will mean a cut of more than 304,000 jobs generated in just two years. Thus, if small and medium-sized companies created a total of 523,762 jobs in 2022, in 2024 they will only add 219,064 more affiliates, which means a cut of more than half and 83,447 fewer than this year.
Despite this, the labor market will still grow at a very reasonable rate in 2024, 2%, although it is reduced to a quarter in a key sector to maintain a robust and powerful economy such as industry, which will have to make do with an increase of 0.4% next year, six times less than the 2.5% that was promoted in 2022, just 6,400 new positions.
What’s more, companies dedicated to anthracite, coal and lignite extractive activities will register a drop in employment of 12.6% in 2024; activities supporting extractive industries, an 8% decline in employment; and those in motor vehicle and trailer manufacturing, a 3.3% cut in employment by 2024.
The slowdown is also strongly felt in small and medium-sized construction companies, which will barely create 12,700 jobs in 2024, less than a quarter of those they registered in 2022. Services, however, grow above 2% on average , although they have also cut their new contributions to less than half in the last two years. On the contrary, agriculture is the only sector that, far from decreasing, soars in 2024, advancing 2.7%, compared to the 1.8% with which it will close this year.
Unstoppable escalation of costs
Likewise, the impact will be different by size, with the main affected being micro-SMEs, which are greatly affected by the rise in labor costs and will grow a modest 0.8% next year.
«For these companies with one to five workers, with the amount of administrative burdens they are having, it is very difficult for them to grow and be productive. This is happening in a context in which labor costs are growing significantly… we have had growth above 5% for four quarters. In year-on-year terms, SMEs have a 12% increase in these labor costs,” explained the director of Economics at Cepyme, Francisco Vidal.
For this reason, Cepyme advocated for a regulatory framework that promotes the increase in the size of companies and that dissolves the obstacles that hinder the growth of firms with less than 10 workers, both from the point of view of the high tax effort and contributions. of regulation and administrative barriers.