Part-Time Jobs: Part of the Solution

IESE Prof. Morten Olsen on alleviating effects of the crisis

20/03/2012 Worldwide

Part-time Jobs Are Part of the Solution

Debt is not Europe’s only problem, says Morten Olsen. In Spain, it’s a lack of competitiveness. It can’t devalue, so it has to take other measures to become more competitive. Half of the newly unemployed worked in the construction industry, and now nearly half of those out of work are long-term unemployed. This is a serious problem. Only 13 percent of Spanish workers are in part-time work, compared with 40 percent in the Netherlands. Changing the social security system to encourage part-time employment would at least reduce the harmful effects of long-term unemployment.

Sovereign debt is not Europe's only problem. Spain faces a lack of competitiveness and the country needs to put a priority on encouraging part-time work to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis, says Prof. Morten Olsen of IESE's Department of Economics.

Since the crisis started, Spain has seen an exodus of 1.3 million workers from the construction sector alone, while the average duration of unemployment continues to grow. Just 13 percent of Spain's workers are part-time, a very low figure when compared with the Netherlands (40 percent) or Germany (22 percent). To encourage part-time work, however, the country's social security system will have to change.

Read IESE Economics Weekly