If the ERTEs and the ICO credit guarantees are already out of date, as the businessmen say, it will be seen in the form of insolvencies in the coming months. The Government, for the moment, prefers that they do not mark the agenda. Yesterday with a reading of the data of the January strike in which he concluded that his labor policy to combat the pandemic has been a success, he discarded that risk by pointing out the volume of the invoice paid since March at employers.
Unemployment rose in January to almost four million people with another 730,000 in ERTE. The increase is seasonal but has been lower than in 2020, although the hiring prior to the Christmas campaign was also. The Minister Spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, reminded business organizations that more than 62,000 million euros have been allocated to the productive fabric to alleviate the effects of the restrictions derived from the Covid-19 pandemic. An amount that exceeds 60,000 million is the way of expressing the aid of the Government, which uses the procedures it has to its credit, in this case, Social Security, ICO credits or any moratorium on the payment of taxes, aimed at those sectors.
He pointed out that the autonomous communities and municipalities can also offer aid.
Over the last week, both CEOE and Cepyme, the self-employed and business associations linked to the hotel industry have warned the Government that many businesses can no longer resist and a wave of insolvencies may be triggered. The notice comes reminding that Spain has been one of the European countries that have allocated the least money to what they call direct aid.Montero specified that “only” in the ERTE, which will run until May 31, the State will invest 40,000 million euros to avoid massive layoffs.
The aid consists precisely in making available to these sectors in the form of indirect income a relief on the costs they have to maintain their productive fabric and their level of business, we are talking in some cases of direct aid such as exemptions in the quotas of Social Security and in other cases of loans, “he said. The spokeswoman listed another 17,000 million euros in loans to the tourism sector for the entrepreneurs within a more general plan that has exceeded 40,000 million. Montero’s rejection came just three days after the Vice President for Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, promised in the Congress of Deputies to continue adopting aid measures in the coming weeks to alleviate the liquidity problems of companies.
Calvino directed this aid to the restructuring of businesses, an area that is far from the direct aid demanded by entrepreneurs and that would represent a filter for businesses that have a chance of surviving the crisis. The restructurings would be launched in parallel with the new active employment policies that the Government is already negotiating with the social agents. These new policies will try to get the four million unemployed in the registries out of unemployment, plus the people affected by ERTE or the self-employed in the cessation of activity that will increase unemployment.
In total, this population today amounts to five million people but a wave of bankruptcies could skyrocket the number. In January, the average affiliation to Social Security lost the level of 19 million and stood at 18,829,480 workers at the end of last January, with which the average number of affiliates fell by 218,953 compared to December, 1, 1% less. The organization lost an average of 218,953 contributors in January compared to December (-1.1%), according to data provided by the Ministry led by José Luis Escrivá. In the last year, Social Security has lost 335,014 affiliates in average values (-1.7%).
The job destruction has mainly affected the hotel industry, with an interannual rate that has plummeted by 19.48%, and the arts and entertainment sector, with -16.03%, are the sectors that have the most affiliates lost in the last year. Bars and restaurants, the activity most affected by the closures and capacity limitations decreed by the administrations to stop the third wave, have destroyed 236,000 jobs in the last 12 months and concentrate practically one in three people benefiting from ERTE.
The reading carried out by the Government on a whole panorama with almost four million unemployed and 738,000 people in ERTE, plus 300,000 self-employed in the cessation of activity is based on the comparison with the great financial crisis of 2008 to draw very positive conclusions regarding the effects of its policies to avoid massive damage from the coronavirus on employment.
But less condescending have been other agents involved in the development of government policies. UGT considers that with an annual rise of 710,500 people, the unemployment trend is one of a “moderate and sustained” increase in unemployment since last summer. Neither did CCOO approve of the optimism of Labor and Social Security. “We are getting very dangerously close to the four million unemployed people and it is necessary to close an agreement on active employment policies to protect all people,” said Lola Santillana, CCOO Employment Secretary