Spain: fragmented unemployment protection in a segmented labour market<sup>1</sup>

F. Javier Mato

in Regulating the Risk of Unemployment

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592296
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731471 | DOI:
Spain: fragmented unemployment protection in a segmented labour market1

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The chapter analyses changes within the Spanish unemployment protection system in response to developments in the labour market between 1990 and 2010. Persistent mass unemployment and temporary employment, together with high job turnover and opportunistic behaviour, have failed to prompt structural policy change. The remaining two-tier system reflects, and contributes to, the prevailing labour market segmentation. The emergence of new assistance schemes, such as the RAI (Renta Activa de Inserción) in 2000 and extensions of agricultural programmes, illustrates the ineffective protection for the long-term unemployed, thus highlighting the restrictive nature of unemployment insurance. Fragmentation is supported by persisting benefit disparities between several tiers of protection, age- and family-related differences, and by the extension of unemployment assistance for older persons (pre-retirement). By contrast, many younger jobseekers have remained excluded from unemployment protection. Due to the scale of unemployment and because of policy coordination problems after the decentralization of public employment services, actual procedures within activation policy have remained below standards as envisaged in the European Employment Strategy.

Keywords: Spain; unemployment protection; segmented labour market; activation

Chapter.  9703 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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