80,000 Spanish Emigrated for Work in 2012
February 20th, 2013
Between early 2008 and late 2012, a total of 390,206 Spanish have left Spain to work, or accompany a family member who has emigrated for work, according to a report by Swiss multinational human resource consulting company, Adecco, using data taken from the Electoral Census of Spanish Residents Abroad (CERA), prepared by the National Statistics Institute.
In 2012 alone, more than 82,000 workers packed up and emigrated to other countries in search of job opportunities, which represents an increase of 5.5% compared to 2011. In total, the number of Spanish adults now living abroad is approaching 1.6 million.
Since the crisis began, the number of unemployed Spanish looking for work outside of Spain has doubled, a trend that has intensified during the past two years. In fact, according to Adecco, one in four applicants who visit their offices are looking for a job abroad.
La Rioja, Navarra and the Balearic Islands are the regions which experienced the greatest number of residents leaving for other countries in 2012, with increases of 9.6%, 8.5% and 8.1%, respectively, while Extremadura and Galicia experienced the most moderate increases, of 3.3% and 3.9%. All Spanish regions and provinces saw an increase in the number of expatriates in 2012, with none of them seeing the number of workers living outside Spain being reduced.
At the provincial level, Gerona, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Soria are the areas where the number of workers who have decided to pursue a career outside Spain have increased most, with increases of 8.5%, 8.2% and 8.1%, respectively. At the other end, Badajoz, Córdoba and Cuenca, with increases of 2.8% for the first two, and 3.2% for the latter, are the regions where fewer workers have gone abroad for work in the past year.
Diario Sur reported that the Spanish expatriate profile generally corresponds to that of a young person aged between 25 and 35 years old, highly qualified and without dependents. However, Adecco emphasises that this trend is changing and there are now increasing cases of unemployed persons over 45 years of age with family, who are seeking employment abroad, particularly from the construction sector, as well as recent graduates who want to take their first steps outside Spain, and other lower-skilled profiles.
The main preferred destinations for these job seekers are still European countries, both developed countries like Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and France, as well as Eastern European countries, where technical profiles are needed. Emigration to Latin America is also growing, to countries such as Argentina, Chile, Mexico and especially Brazil.
The labour market situation and the rise in unemployment in Spain are the main reasons for the increase in the number of Spanish leaving the country, together with the fact that Spanish companies are increasingly focusing on markets with higher growth potential. In fact, according to Adecco, the Ibex-35 companies generate more than 50% of their business outside of Spain.
Other reasons the Spanish are opting for emigration are better working conditions, greater opportunities for professional development, the learning or improvement of other languages and the quality of life in the countries of destination.
- 40,625 Spanish Emigrated up to June
- 46% of Spanish Willing to Emigrate to Find Work
- Spanish Workers Not Eager to Work Abroad