By: Tamara Molino | CRP, GMS

September 11, 2018

Since undergoing a massive retrenchment from 2008 through 2013 when it lost 9% of its Gross Domestic Product in real terms, Spain’s changing economy has recovered and is now transforming into a global technology power center. As of 2016, exports have risen dramatically, with many companies selling throughout the European Union and beyond.

What is causing the change?

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister from 2011 through 2018, instituted several reforms designed to help the country recover from its economic crisis. These reforms included reducing redundancy pay from 45 days per year worked to 33 days, and moving wage bargaining to the company level, thus making the labor market more flexible. Also, the financial system was addressed by closing under-performing banks that had made excessively risky property loans, and public finances were reformed by cutting the country’s budget deficit.

Mr. Rajoy’s digital agenda led to expansion of Spain’s fibre-optic network for high-speed data transmission, now covering 76% of the population, the highest percentage across all of Europe. Infrastructure investments in Spain have improved transportation and rail networks. Outside of Spain, the global economic recovery has increased demand for Spanish products and services, as well as improved traditional leading sectors in Spain such as tourism and travel.

What does this mean?

As Spain’s changing economy improves and continues its technology-driven transformation, the demand for highly skilled professional workers is increasing. Although the country has several leading universities and a number of technology industry startups, the demand for highly skilled workers is outpacing the number of qualified employees. Spain has a number of registered unemployed workers, but the skills gap is wide for positions in the new economy. Nearly half of job openings through 2030 will require a high level of skills and qualifications. Employers in Spain may benefit from relocation programs designed to attract and retain new hires with specialized skills and experience.

What should employers do?

Spain’s changing economy is driving growth across several industries, leading to a high level of demand for skilled workers. Employers should examine their relocation policy to determine if it is in line with Spain’s requirements for work visas. Consulate of Spain offices in cities such as Los Angeles offer forms, guidance, and assistance for work visas.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients with country-specific employment requirements. We can help your company understand how to design your relocation policy so it supports transferees and new hire relocations critical to your company’s ability to grow in Spain’s changing economy. Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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Vice President, Global Services Tammy is responsible for GMS’ regional operations teams in North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Tammy provides over 14 years of leadership experience in the areas of international assignment management, global network management, global consulting and business development. Her experience in global mobility includes new client implementations, policy and compliance development, global compensation and billing, vendor management, case management, and real estate home sale/purchase programs. Tammy travels extensively and studied abroad in Switzerland, Chile, Peru, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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