Absenteeism rises twenty in the first quarter: 6.3% of agreed-upon hours are lost

an average Absence from work – That is, the worker’s absence from his job when he was due to be present – during the first quarter of this year was 6.3%, a tenth more than in the last three months of 2022. This means that, on average, almost 1.3 million Spaniards do not go to work every day. It should be noted that 76.9% (992,078 workers) of these were absent from work due to sick leave, and only 23.1% (298,166) did so without hindrance. For its part, the unexplained absenteeism rate was 1.5%, the same percentage as last quarter.

The data, compiled by human resources company Randstad and published this Tuesday, shows that industry – at a rate of 6.4% – and services – at a rate of 6.3% – are the sectors that Record more absenteeism. On the other hand, construction sector output decreases by 4.7%. This estimate was made based on the total number of working people in Spain, which according to the Active Population Survey (EPA) was 20.45 million people during the first quarter of 2023.

In absolute terms, there is a large dispersion depending on the work area being considered: while some sectors have a low level – in many sectors absenteeism was less than 4%, the lowest level is 2.6% – others face a “serious problem”, the document notes. If the incidence was observed by activity rather than by sector, employment-related activities (2.4%), legal and accounting activities, and those related to information technology and research and development, all at 3.3%, were the activities that performed best.

Spain does not have an official indicator of global absenteeism, other than sick leave rates provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). In fact, this report is based on numbers from the Quarterly Survey of Employment Costs published by the National Institute of Statistics, for the first quarter of 2023. This calculation does not include hours worked due to vacations, holidays, or ERTE, but passes to care for children or other family members and unexcused or reduced absences.

“Absenteeism is a serious problem for companies, and it has a direct impact on productivity,” warned Randstad Research Director Valentin Bot. According to data provided by Randstad, absenteeism decreased throughout 2022 from 7.1% in the first trimester, through 6.2% in the second, to a minimum of 5.6% in the third. It was between October and December when it started to recover, reaching 6.1%.

The effect varies greatly by region. By region, the Basque Country (8.7%), Galicia (7.3%) and Cantabria (7.2%) were the regions with the most job losses between January and March. On the other hand, the Balearic Islands (4.8%), La Rioja (5.1%) and Madrid (5.6%) were the areas with the lowest incidence of this phenomenon.

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