SPAIN (Agencies) The drama of unemployment in Spain is well known, the result of a 21.5% rate, which doubles the European average. However, recent report from Brussels points out that the level of poverty within Spanish homes continues to grow, placing this country in third place, behind Greece and Romania. The report says that poverty among Spaniards who are employed is already at 11.4%. This is owed in large part to the high number of temporary employment contracts that exist here -25% of all people in work- that creates a 'considerable segmentation' between temporary and permanent workers. "The risk of poverty among temporary workers is over twice as much as that among permanent employees," says the text. Spain presents two kinds of employment>>>that are highly differentiated: one is indefinite employment that is 'highly regulated', the other, temporary, is a great deal more flexible. The study also says that temporary employment is 'not voluntary' and is generally associated with 'discriminatory salary levels'. The report points out, too, that the minimum wage (See Government to freeze minimum wage...) is the third lowest among the 27 EU members and that, on top of that, this salary base is applied only to indefinite employment, which therefore accounts for the risk of poverty among the temporarily employed. The head of the European Commission's Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion department, Lázló Andor, says that the proposal regarding 'mini-jobs' sent by the ECB to the Spanish Government, would go some way to alleviating the enormous unemployment figures among under-25s (See Germany suggests Spain apply 'mini-job' concept to unemployment crisis)
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