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The labor market in Spain

You are advised to enquire on Spain's labor market before setting out to work there. Here is an overview.

The unemployment rate in Spain, in spite of a decrease in recent years, remains relatively high compared to other European countries and tends to start rising again in early 2009. However, some economic sectors still offer professional opportunities for foreigners, including marketing, import- export, professorship, translation, IT and new technologies.  

You'd better be fully prepared to seek for employment in Spain and have solid professional and language skills!

Fluency in Spanish is often an essential prerequisite to get a job, except in some large international companies where working languages are other than Spanish. Unskilled, seasonal or agriculture jobs do not require fluency in Spanish.


With regards to the geographical distribution of jobs, Madrid and Barcelona attract many foreign workers because of their bustling economic activities. Valencia has also experienced a strong economic expansion in recent years and also attracts many foreign workers. Many tourism or seasonal jobs are also available along the coasts. 

Labor conditions

The minimum monthly wage in Spain is of 752,85 € for a full time job since January 2014. Spanish employees benefit from 22 days off and 14 bank holidays per year. The legal working time is set at 40 hours per week (maximum 9 hours a day). 

The working day usuakky starts later than elsewhere in Europe, around 9 or 10 am and ends later in the evening, around 7 or 8 pm. 

  Useful links: 

Ministry of Labor www.empleo.gob.es
Oficina empleo - National Agency for Employment www.oficinaempleo.com

Last update on 28 July 2014 13:57:13


  • ElTimple
    ElTimple 25 September 2012 10:25:01

    this article is way out of date. Unemployment is terrible with the mainland rate running at around 22% when i last looked. In the canary islands it gets worse, They hold the second highest unemployment figures in Europe , Second only to some french colony in the Caribbean

  • tschen
    tschen 24 March 2010 01:25:35

    Unemployment is now close to 20%

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