The move to phase 2 in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​the two most sensitive areas of the pandemic but also those with the greatest weight in employment in sectors such as hospitality or commerce, has meant the incorporation of around 326,000 people into work , according to data facilitated by the main employers of both sectors.

In the case of commerce, in Spain there are about 14,000 non-food stores of more than 400 square meters (the least could open in phase 1 and without an appointment), which account for 30% of the total commercial surface. All these stores were closed two and a half months and then a restricted opening was imposed in phase 1 with a maximum limited area of ​​400 square meters until the passage to phase 2.

The territories that later reached phase 2, including Madrid and Barcelona, ​​account for around 36% of commercial employment, according to data from the Labor Force Survey (EPA), which is why some 117,000 employees from All trade was still on ERTE until last week, according to Anged, the National Association of Large Distribution Companies.

As the two phase cities passed, many large chains have incorporated all of their templates into the work. This is the case of El Corte Inglés, the largest employer in this country, along with Mercadona (with a workforce of more than 90,000 employees).

Big chains

The department store group presented an ERTE in March for 25,900 employees, of whom 24,000 have already joined since yesterday. They are the workers in the department stores and those of the Sfera fashion chain. They are outside the travel area.

Other large chains, such as Ikea or Leroy Merlin, which have staffs of more than 10,000 employees, have been gradually incorporating them in this preparation for phase 2. Ikea, for example, which had presented an ERTE in March that affected 83 % of its staff in Spain (about 8,000 workers), announced the total cancellation of the same on May 25, coinciding with the first reopening of stores in A Coruña, Asturias, Barakaldo, Jerez, Murcia, Seville, Zaragoza and Pamplona.

Leroy Merlin, another of the chains with the most job opportunities, presented an ERTE that affected 11,000 workers , of which it is estimated that around half have been able to join phase 2 of Madrid and Barcelona in this step.


In the case of hospitality, one of the main economic pillars of the country, it has around 1,700,000 affiliates, of which, in May, 860,000 were still in ERTE status .

From Hospitality of Spain, an association that groups almost 300,000 bars, restaurants and cafes in the country, they point out that currently there is still 40% of the labor force in this situation of temporary unemployment, which is about 580,000 employees, so, according to their calculations, some 290,000 workers would have been incorporated in this step to phase 2.

From the Association of Self-Employed Workers (ATA), they calculate that around nine out of 10 freelancers will have opened their businesses before Friday, June 12, already with this Spain de-escalating at two speeds (phase 2 and 3). They do not provide data on workers who have left the ERTE because, "these incorporations are being carried out gradually, depending on the regions and the activity."

«The incorporation into this new reality has been happening little by little and unevenly throughout the territory. Many freelancers will open this week for the first time after a three-month hiatus, "says Lorenzo Amor, president of ATA.

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