Jobs and productivity in Spain, 2008-2012
In 2008 Spain had 20 million jobs. This number declined to 17 million – a decline which was almost completely due to the bust of the building boom. As construction has a relatively lower productivity average productivity increased because of the decline of building, just like in Ireland. Which means that variables like average productivity and average Unit Labour Cost may not be the best metrics to gauge the competitiveness of a country. And which means that export demand is not the only or even the most important kind of demand to solve the real Spanish problem (which is not debt but the loss of 3 million jobs). Investments in new sectors are needed. Like medical care for old, rich Germans.