Women between the ages of 25 and 29 reduce their activity rate to continue training
The rate of active women between the ages of 25 and 29 registered a new drop in 2022, after the slight recovery in 2021. The average rate for this age group stood at 81.4 last year, which, except some ups and downs, suggests a downward trajectory since the financial crisis, since the data stood at 85.04 in 2010. Besides, The number of women in this age group who work or are actively seeking employment marks a record low -at least since 2006-, with only 1,004,000 young people under 29 years of age in this situation. The experts consulted by La Información call for studying these data with caution, however, they interpret that demographic characteristics and the tendency to expand studies beyond secondary education are behind this evolution.
Florentino FelguerosoPhD in Economics and researcher associated with the Fundación de Estudios de Economía Aplicada (Fedea) attributes the reduction in absolute terms in the number of active women in this age group to the fall in births in the late 1980s and the beginning of of the 90s. “The young people who are entering the job market are children of the real estate bubble, those who are up to 24 years old, and in these years prior to the 2008 crisis there was an increase. Instead, those who are now between 25 and 29 were born in the context of the economic crisis of 1993. Something that is also observed in the generations up to 34 years old, due to the transition and the change of the 80s, “he points out in conversation with this medium.
However, the fall is not only observed in absolute terms, but the activity rate of young people under 29 years of age has also seen a significant reduction in the last decade. The data collected by the National Institute of Statistics show some peaks that make it impossible to speak of a trend, for which reason the teachers interviewed call for monitoring in the medium term. The 2021 data is especially discordant within the progression observed since the crisis since it represents a distance of almost two points with respect to the 2022 rate for this age bracket. However, the economist does not rule out that part of this difference is due to statistical errors as a result of the pandemic, since field work was also affected.
isabella rodriguez, Professor of Economics at the University of Navarra, points out that women between the ages of 25 and 29 may be looking to broaden their training, either through postgraduate or master’s studies or by doing stays abroad. “I would speak more of slight variations than of a consolidated trend over the years, but in this age group, the reason is training and not maternity, since the average age to have children is much older,” he points out. In addition, Rodríguez sees it as logical that there should be a rise in the activity rate of women in 2021, given that many women could have taken the step of seeking employment active once the worst of the pandemic had passed.
However, it may be that these same young women have not seen their expectations regarding the labor market, salary, conditions or even hours fulfilled, and that this has prompted them to extend their studies beyond the age of 25, he maintains by phone with La Información . “It is an age group in which there are many people training with the hope of accessing a better job”points out the expert, something that has had a special impact in the face of a new context of crisis, which after the pandemic has been marked by the war in Ukraine.
The Ministry of Labor also alluded to this casuistry in its report ‘The situation of women in the labor market 2021’, in which they indicated that the activity rate of young women had decreased uninterruptedly in the last 14 years. Yolanda Díaz’s portfolio attributed this fall to the increase in women’s training, which has determined a great leap in recent years, for which three out of four women now have high and medium studies. According to this document, almost half of active women have higher education (48.8%) and more than half of the total assets with higher education also respond to this gender (53.1%). This shows a change in the female labor force, compared to 2007, when women with a low level of qualification predominated.
The Bologna Plan triggers master’s studies
Inaki Iriondo Mugica, PhD in Economic and Business Sciences from the Complutense University and professor of Applied Economics reports that the majority of young people enter the job market in this age range. Although he refers to the changes introduced in the behavior of adults between the ages of 22 and 30 since the implementation of the Bologna Plan. “In the last ten years there has been a very large transformation in the number of people who study a master’s degreebefore it was something almost anecdotal and most of the people who study these studies are women”, he points out. However, based on the data, it would be the women who have completed high school or FP, the ones who would be betting the most on expanding their education.
In addition, it points out that the volume of recently graduated students who decide to prepare for competitive examinations and, therefore, are not active, may be significant depending on the degree they have completed. An example of this is that 12% of law graduates were preparing for an exam to obtain a public position. And given the irregular and changing characteristics of the labor market, it may more and more young people see an opportunity in the public sector to develop their professional careerTherefore, they are not listed as job seekers either. Iriondo also argues that this process, in addition to the crisis, may have been encouraged by the stabilization plans of the Public Administration, which, on the other hand, is experiencing an aging of its workforce that translates into vacancies.
Although, the professor points out that by focusing both the focus on such a specific age group, variations that are not as significant as the fact that several thousand young people decide to study a master’s degree can transfer strong changes to the EPA data. Along the same lines, the Fedea expert, Florentino Felgueroso, stresses the difficulty of drawing weighty conclusions given the ‘noise’ of the multiplicity of factors involved in this age group, as can also be the greater or lesser arrival of foreigners who, in general terms, register a higher rate of activity than the Spanish population, since their main objective is usually to work in the country.