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ICT sector continues to create new jobs despite contraction in activity

    18 May 2021

    • The demand for specialised talent increased by +0.5% year-on-year between February 2020 and February 2021

    The ICT services sector continues to demonstrate its resilience despite the delicate status of the larger Spanish economy, which has experienced the most significant drop in employment since 2014. According to the latest installment of the monthly ICT Monitor barometer, prepared jointly by VASS and the Economic Forecasting Centre (CEPREDE), technology companies continue to distance themselves from the services sector as a whole, which has trended down by nearly 5%.

    Against this decline, ICT has created new jobs with a +0.5% increase in demand for specialised talent year-on-year between February 2020 and February 2021.

    “Right now, no one with sufficient qualifications in this professional field has any employment problems. And yet, the sector has experienced a contraction in the activity of -9.4% year-on-year. This is a revealing record which, although it is a considerable improvement on the previous figure (-14.8%), bears witness that the crisis has postponed major digitisation decisions. In the same way, this dynamism in job creation resists another fact that has been weighing down companies in the sector over the last year: the decline in activity has led to a year-on-year fall in productivity per employee of 9.8%,” says Antonio Rueda, director of VASS Research and head of TIC Monitor.

    One of the main reasons why the ICT services sector has avoided job losses is the growth forecast. Despite the difficult start to the year, climate indicators remain positive.

    Three months ahead, data in both Spain and the larger EU shows confidence in a gradual recovery expected to materialise between May and July. The indicator is in line with the previous month, at +48.6 points out of +/-100. In summary: 74.3% of businesspeople in the sector are optimistic, compared with 25.7% who perceive a larger turnover.

    Likewise, although lower in comparison last year (+38.1 points), job creation expectations managed to remain positive (+12.3), with 56.2% of companies expecting net job creation between May and July.

    “Another reason companies are reluctant to lay off workers is the shortage of professionals to tackle the recovery. Between 2011 and 2019, Spain is, after Italy, the country – among the large European countries – where the number of technical profiles has grown the least. This contrasts with a strong and sustained demand: in the last five years, 195,000 ICT specialist jobs have been created in Spain”, Rueda adds.

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