The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was held on December 3, but one year on, little significant progress has been made in improving employment for this group. 

One of the biggest unfinished tasks for the Spanish job market is to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The data revealed in the Report on the Labor Market of People with Disabilities 2022 prepared by the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) underscores that this achievement is still a long way off.

Although the percentage of people with disabilities out of the total working age population has grown, and now stands at 6.3%, contracts entered into with people with disabilities only represent 1.59% of the national total.

Moreover, long-term unemployment among this group doubled in 2021, to 63.99%, which means that 92,748 unemployed persons with a disability have been registered with the public employment offices for over a year. Among people without disabilities, less than 50% of registered unemployed workers have been on the rosters for that amount of time.

These figures reveal the difficulties people with disabilities have in securing gainful employment. Moreover, not only is it harder for them to find jobs, but their positions are also less stable.

Indeed, a very high proportion of the new jobs held by people with disabilities are temporary. Specifically, in 2021, casual contracts to cover temporary demand for production and contracts for project work or services together accounted for nearly 70% of contracts.

The central transformative promise of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is to leave no one behind. In this regard, companies are called on to play an important role in improving job opportunities and working to achieve a more inclusive and fairer society, better the quality of employment and create equal opportunities for all.

Patricia Vicén

Garrigues Labor and Employment Department