Women, immigrants and university students: seven out of ten are underemployed in Spain

Update Post: November 28, 2023 10:53 pm

Spain is the country in the European Union that registers the highest percentage of overqualified employees, specifically, the rate stands at 35.9%, which has become a structural problem, given that, as the market researcher points out, of work associated with Fedea, Florentino Felgueroso, has occurred since the mid-90s. The country also occupies one of the first positions within the OECD framework, although this value presents differences depending on the gender and nationality of the employee. Thus, foreign women with degrees are the most penalized by the system, since seven out of every ten of these workers are too trained for the position they occupy or, in other words, only 31.2% of the total carry out an activity in accordance with their training, according to EPA data collected by the study center.

The difference with respect to employed Spanish nationals is more than significant, since the percentage of correspondence between their work and their studies amounts to 61.5%, a proportion that drops to 37.9% for women of dual nationality and which pushes the the female average drops, which stagnates at 57.8%. The records of the Active Population Survey prepared by the INE reflect that having a nationality other than Spanish also penalizes men, but to a lesser extent by presenting an occupational adjustment of foreign university graduates of 45.1%.

The differences between foreign men and women widen and narrow depending on the number of years they have been in Spain. In the case of recent arrivals, those who have been residing in the country for less than two years, the percentage of men employed in a position consistent with their training is almost twenty points higher than that of women who enjoy the same conditions. It is 45.6% compared to 26.8% of them. On the other hand, the gender gap is smaller for workers who arrived in Spain between six and ten years ago, given that both values ​​are around 35%. However, this distance grows again among professionals who have been in this country for more than 16 years, since while men are close to 50%, they barely exceed 35%.

“The occupational adjustment of immigrant women with a university degree increases with the length of residence in Spain, while men who arrived in the last five years present a greater adjustment than those who have resided in Spain for a longer time,” states the report from the Quarterly observatory of the labor market prepared by Fedea and Sagardoy Abogados. The reasons behind these data are varied, but the presence of these women in traditionally feminized, low-paid and highly biased professions, such as the care sector or customer service, is especially important.

Occupational mismatch of university students

However, these workers are not immune to the phenomena that affect the entire labor market and in the last 30 years the mismatch between the supply of qualified workers and those employed as directors, managers, technicians and scientific and intellectual professionals in absolute terms. That is, those who work in a position located in categories 1 and 2 of the list of occupations prepared by Social Security. “Active people with a university degree were 2.1 million people in the first quarter of 1995 and increased to nearly 7.2 million in the second quarter of 2023, while employment in more qualified occupations grew from 2.2 million in 1995 up to 5 million”, reviews the document.

The proportion of workers who are in one of these occupations has grown 5 percentage points during this period to reach 25% of the total, an imbalance that Fedea attributes to “an excess supply of qualified workers in certain occupational profiles, and/ or because the offer does not adapt to the qualifications demanded by companies in the different occupations of this range.” However, this overqualification is not only seen in the highest ranks, but the ‘think than’ also reports a significant weight of people with intermediate training, that is, with vocational training or high school, who have a position that does not require qualification. . . The group of researchers notes that the phenomenon of “displacement” may be occurring, whereby the imbalance of the highest layers pushes the rest.

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September 24, 2023 4:17 am