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The capital that matters least: the human

Spain is at the tail of Europe in productivity per worker

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The capital that matters least: the human

Spain is at tail of Europe in productivity per worker

Spain is to tail of Europe in terms of training and productivity of its workers, according to latest survey of World Economic Forum on human capital development. In Europe, only Greece, Moldova and Serbia are worse. Ranked 44 out of 130 countries analyzed in terms of use and development of human capital, well below that for GDP it should be. Then something (or a lot) is doing very bad for it to be so. The report lists many factors that influence level of participation in labour market, unemployment rate, underemployment, shortcomings of educational system, rate of skilled employment, and so on. In all we have gaps, but in our case re is a factor that has special significance and about which little is said in public debate: lack of investment by firms in human capital.

Up to now it has been made much emphasis on labor-market rigidities as cause of all evils, but hardly has questioned limited commitment, in general terms, business Spanish with training of ir employees. To this is now added an adjustment policy based exclusively on devaluation of pay that can still aggravate situation. The question is: what are low wages result in low productivity, or is it or way round: that we have a low productivity, precisely because wages are low and companies invest little in human capital? This is one of issues that economists Antón Costas poses in his latest book, The end of confusion (Mainland).

Costas discusses various factors that have led to current situation and warns of consequences of policy of low wages and poor vocational training that is being applied. With a rate of 21.9% of students have not even completed compulsory education, Spain does not have a good situation, but neir is so bad as to explain a productivity as low. “In order for education to yield economic benefits that are expected from it needs to operate in a favourable business environment to take advantage of human capital existing,” says Shores. As well: only 25% of industrial enterprises spend on training and just devote 0.2% of ir labour costs.

Compared to strategy of “insisting of an obsessive way in reform of labour market as only strategic element of growth”, Costas proposes to “balance current debate towards neglected factors of growth: entrepreneurial dimension, type of business, professional education, internal, working atmosphere and management model”. A country that youth unemployment is placed in position 124 of 130; where many young workers are overqualified for jobs y do and many of which are listed as employees are part-time and not arrive at perceive or even minimum wage, it should have all alarms turned on. And yet, Government continues to act as if nothing happened. “We are emerging from crisis leaving no one behind,” twitters minister Fátima Báñez.

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