Chatting with my Italian teacher recently, he mentioned that the Italians are scared that next year Spain is projected to overtake Italy in terms of GDP per head. I’ve today been reading Le Monde, and the stats they present tell a remarkable story about the Spanish labour market. A summary of the articleÃ‚Â (in French) is here.
Spain has managed to boost its labour market participation rate to 63.3% to 2005, up 15% in a decade. The average age for Spanish retiring is now 62.4, above Germany, France and Italy and only a fraction behind the UK. Engagement of women in the labour market has stormed ahead – up to 51.2% in 2005 from a fraction over 30% in 1995. The total numbers in the population working in Spain has risen from 12.5 million in 1995 to 19.0 million now, a rise of 51.6%. These figures are really staggering. OK, some of Spain’s circumstances are very different, but France and Italy need to sit up and take note.