Spain sees boom in foreign workers

Foreign workforce in Spain hits new high

Image showing different nationalities. Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

At the beginning of 2024, the number of foreign nationals paying into Spain’s Social Security soared to a new high, signifying a notable shift in the workforce composition.

Social Security records in Spain showed a record-setting 2,736,169 foreign contributors in January 2024, after making adjustments for seasonality and the calendar effect.

This milestone represents the highest count of international workers, with an addition of 24,056 in the last month alone, marking a significant increase since February 2020, before the pandemic’s impact, with a growth of 546,748 foreign workers.

Broad analysis of foreign contribution

In terms of average figures without seasonal adjustment, Social Security noted 2,631,593 foreign contributors this month.

This is 196,034 (8.1 per cent) more than a year ago, pushing the proportion of foreign workers to 12.8 per cent of the total insured workforce. Compared to December, there was a decrease of 37,183 members.

The demographic breakdown shows 852,163 workers come from EU countries, making up 32.4 per cent, and 1,779,430 from non-EU countries, accounting for the remaining 67.6 per cent.

The largest groups come from Romania, Morocco, Italy, Colombia, and Venezuela. Of these, 56.2 per cent are men and 43.8 per cent are women.

Spotlight on Ukrainian contributors

Notably, there are 65,511 insurance contributors from Ukraine, an increase of 18,252 since January 2022, before the conflict in their homeland began, showing a growth of 38.62 per cent.

The majority, 85.7 per cent, are employed in the General System as salaried workers, while 14.3 per cent are self-employed.

Sector growth and self-employment trends

Overall, 83.4 per cent of foreign national insurance contributors were part of the General Regime, tallying up to 2,196,041 workers, an 8.4 per cent increase from January last year.

The past 12 months have seen more than ten sectors of activity expand by over 10 per cent, with the hospitality and construction sectors leading the growth.

Hotels and restaurants is the sector with the greatest increase (13.7 per cent), followed by Construction (11.8 per cent), Health Care Activities (11.5 per cent), Scientific and Technical Activities (10.8 per cent) and Financial Activities (10.8 per cent).

The self-employed system boasts 431,345 foreign contributors, with significant numbers coming from China, Romania, and Italy, highlighting the diverse entrepreneurial spirit among the foreign workforce in Spain.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

Comments


    • John Little

      23 February 2024 • 11:57

      The demographic breakdown shows 852,163 workers come from EU countries, making up 32.4 per cent, and 1,779,430 from non-EU countries, accounting for the remaining 67.6 per cent. Interesting how this is phrased. Its those ” remaining 67.6 per cent ” that Spain is going to regret.

    • Cheeky chappy

      24 February 2024 • 16:08

      Don’t forget the 3m plus workers in the black economy who pay zero taxes.

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