Spanish youth is facing serious difficulties in achieving economic independence and emancipation due to precarious employment conditions and skyrocketing rent prices, with youth living with their parents until their 30s, a recent report by the NGO Ayuda en Acci?n reveals.
The current emancipation age in Spain, 29.9 years old, is three years higher than the EU average, and prospects are sombre as the percentage of people under 30 living with their parents will reach 47.5% by 2030, the NGO’s report reveals.
Although the economic outlook for the coming years is less gloomy, with youth unemployment estimated to fall from 30% to 20% in 2030, youth face precarious employment conditions, including low salaries and temporary contracts, which hamper their ability to emancipate.
“What we are seeing is that the improvement in employment does not guarantee the possibility of emancipation,” Mat?as Figueroa, head of Ayuda en Acci?n’s European programmes, told radio station Cadena SER.
“In 2021, 46% of the 25-34-year-old population will live with their parents, 10.6 percentage points more than in 2008. The expert added that the percentage of the 20-24-year-old population living with their parents in Spain is 14.4 points higher than the EU average, whose differential grows to 21.4 points in the 25-29 age group”.
“While temporary employment has fallen by 3.6 points in the 20-64 age group since 2008, it has risen by 9.9 points in the 15-24 age group and by three points in the 25-34 age group. Moreover, the part-time rate for the 15-29-year-old population is 26.2% (of which 53.8% are part-time because they cannot find a full-time job), almost double the indicator for Spain as a whole and 10.4 points higher than in 2008”, the report reads.
Along with precarious employment conditions, the other major problem for emancipation is housing, according to the report. The percentage of young homeowners has fallen from 60% to 30% in the last decade, and young people have to spend, on average, between 35% and more than 40% of their income to pay for their homes.
Spanish youth faces low salaries, instability, and lack of viable housing – a “perfect storm” that makes it particularly difficult for them to start an independent life alone or to have children at a time when Spain holds the lowest birth rate in the EU.
According to the report, “78% consider that it is very important to achieve job stability before having children, which clashes with the fact that a third of employed young people aged 25-34 have a temporary contract”.
General elections will be held in December, the final month of the Spanish EU Council presidency, which starts on 1 July. The problem of youth unemployment will be at the centre of the debates, among other key topics.
(Fernando Heller EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)