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Growth in employment in Spanish worker cooperatives : 13,249 new positions in 2016

3 mars 2017 English ] [ français ]

2016 was a strong year for setting up worker cooperatives in Spain. According to the latest figures released by Spain’s Ministry of Employment, at the end of the third quarter of 2016 there had been a 7.3% increase in the number of worker cooperatives started up compared to the same period in 2015. In absolute terms the number of cooperatives had increased by 2% by the end of 2016.

“We are setting up new companies, thanks to extensive efforts in promoting and publicising the cooperative model across every corner of Spain”, explained Juan Antonio Pedreño, president of the the Spanish Confederation of Worker Cooperatives (COCETA), a CECOP member. Since 2011 more than 7,000 cooperative enterprises have been set up, of which an average of 76% are worker cooperatives, where the workers play an active role in the enterprise.

Stable and ongoing work

In 2016 cooperative jobs in industry increased by 4.4%. More than 14,923 people chose to work for cooperatives in the services sector, to give them stable and ongoing employment. These figures reaffirm Pedreño’s plea : “We want worker cooperatives to be taken into account when it comes to planning economic, labour, and social policies”.

In Spain, according to official figures, 80% of people working in cooperatives are members, and have ongoing contracts. Moreover, women represent 49% of those working in worker cooperatives, and 39% go on to reach higher levels of responsibility : a much higher figure than in other types of business models. During the financial crisis, cooperatives lost 12% less employment than other types of businesses.