chapter  4
The Spanish labor market
On the path of flexibility and wage devaluation
ByMaría Eugenia Ruiz-Gálvez, Lucía Vicent Valverde
Pages 26

Spain has been suffering from major structural problems in terms of employment throughout the last decades, to which new challenges must be added, such as labor segmentation, wage devaluation, and the proliferation of new contracts with worse labor conditions. The outbreak of the international crisis and the implementation of adjustment measures have reinforced the imbalances of this pattern of labor relations. As a result, labor precariousness has spread throughout the economy and has become the norm in a context characterized by the individualization of labor relations and the emergence of new identities inside the working class. All this has led to the weakening and disempowerment of trade unions, giving rise to a new scene with highly unequal labor conditions and labor rights. In our chapter, we study these trends both before and after the crisis, focusing on the transfer of economic and social risks to those who still have stable and good jobs and verifying the institutionalization of precariousness in Spanish labor relations.