Spain’s high unemployment rate of around 23% means many Spaniards, young people in particular, are leaving the country to find work elsewhere. One popular destination is Germany, where the jobless rate is under 7%. But starting afresh in a new country is challenging.
Munich’s airport shuttle bus is dropping off newly arrived passengers in the city centre.
Among those getting off are Spaniards Jose Sandino and Juan Alberto Fuente.
Sandino and Fuente are thirty-something industrial engineers from Malaga, in southern Spain. Each has more than a decade of experience under his belt. But Spain’s economic crisis has left them jobless. And now it’s turned them into immigrants…
Economics of migration
American economist Marten Olsen has studied the employment market across Europe.
He says the cost of hiring in Spain has risen 24% in recent years, because of wage and benefit increases. At the same time, he says, productivity has stayed nearly flat. In Germany, it’s been the opposite.
“Spanish workers have only become a little more productive but wage compensation has gone up a lot. Germans are a lot more productive and wage compensation has only gone up a little.” …
The effect, he says, is that it has become relatively cheaper to hire people in Germany than in Spain.
- Labour reform in Spain: Spanish practices | The Economist (jobmarketmonitor.com)
- Spain faces unemployment pain after embracing austerity in European crisis – The Washington Post (jobmarketmonitor.com)
- Hundreds of thousands march in Spain against reforms | Reuters (jobmarketmonitor.com)
- BBC News – Are Greeks the hardest workers in Europe? (jobmarketmonitor.com)