Employment Polarisation in Spain Over the Course of the 1997-2012 Cycle
38 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 20, 2013
This article analyses changes in the occupational employment share in Spain for the period 1997-2012 and the way particular sociodemographics adapt to those changes. There seems to be clear evidence of employment polarisation between 1997 and 2012, which accelerates over the recession. Changes in the composition of the labour supply cannot explain the increase in the share of occupations at the low end of the wage distribution. Sector reallocation might have partially contributed to explaining the polarisation process in Spain during the years of expansion (1997-2007), but it is a minor factor during the recession. The polarisation of occupations within sectors observed especially during the recession appear to be related to a decline in routine tasks. This is compensated by an increase in occupations with non-routine service contents, which are found both at the low and high end of the wage distribution. Instead, abstract content-intensive jobs do not appear to increase their share in total employment during these 15 years. The paper finds that this process has affected males more than females because of the higher concentration of the former in more routine-intensive occupations. Among males, for workers under 30 years we fi nd a decrease in the share of occupations with more routine tasks, which turns into increases in others with more abstract content and particularly with more nonroutine service content. Instead, male workers over 30 years seem to remain in declining occupations to a greater extent. Females of different ages are not affected by the above mentioned changes.
Keywords: employment polarisation, job tasks, routinisation, business cycle
JEL Classification: E24, J24, J62, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation