The young sociologist Jacobo Muñoz Comet has been awarded by the ISA in the “VI World Contest of Young Sociologists” for his research work: The impact of unemployment on temporary workers. Why foreigners are more vulnerable during the Great Recession?
Jacobo Muñoz Comet graduated with a degree in Sociology at the UNED, and is currently assistant professor in the Department of Sociology II, Faculty of Political Science and Sociology from the same university. The research that has been awarded, The impact of unemployment on temporary workers. Why foreigners are more vulnerable during the Great Recession?, it is based on a chapter empirical dissertation which will have to defend soon. The own James has had the kindness to forward to Cisolog a summary of the main points of the research and some results:
- In this work we have addressed the problem of unemployment in Spain and its close relationship with temporality, which presents one of the highest levels among all the countries of the OECD. The differences between foreigners and spaniards in regard to the type of contract are substantial, which helps explain why the current economic crisis is having a greater impact in terms of employment on population is not autochthonous. More detailed analyses presented in this work provide novel data about a fact that points towards greater inequality for foreigners. The risk of losing the job between workers with a temporary contract is higher for the immigrant group than for the Spanish, but this happens only from the year 2008, when the Great Recession takes place.
- The results of the multivariable analyses show that the worse situation of foreigners is caused by differences in human capital (lower educational levels, less time in the labor market, and lower seniority in the company), but these factors do not explain fully the gap starting between the boys. The importance of nationality only disappears when it is controlled by the type of employment held by individuals (the level of occupation and sector of activity), although in the case of the collective african continue being some of the differences without explaining.
- By way of conclusion, it is possible that labour markets do not produce a discriminatory treatment according to nationality, that is to say, the precariousness to which they are subjected the workers of the segment side is the same for foreigners than for natives. However, if those who access through the worst occupations are difficult to promote to better positions, many immigrants who initially have accepted work that is not theirs for their profile formation can be seen penalized in the long term. For this reason, foreign nationals are harmed twice: by their greater propensity to own contracts with a date of completion, but, above all, because the contractual relationship is associated mainly to a kind of temporary structural (activities linked to the seasonality and the contract for work, typical in the sectors of construction, agriculture and hotels and catering), and not so much to practices of job placement, which often affect younger people, but that are fixed over time (Garrido and González, 2005). This is seen in the fact that once controlled the potential time in the labour market and seniority in the company the probability of losing the job continues to be superior to the foreign workers.
James has not been until now an unknown in Cisolog, in January last year, we published why the crisis is hitting more immigrant workers? (Via DivulgaUNED) with bibliographic reference to him: Jacobo Muñoz Comet, Irma Mooi Reci. “Why do foreign workers experience more job loss during the economic crisis?”. Notebooks of Economic Information (Funcas), no. 225, December 2011.
James had already been awarded in 2012 with the “Award for Young Researchers of the Sociology of the Community of Madrid”. Below is the interview that we did at the UNED (October 2012) on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the UNED:
Interview to Jacobo Muñoz Comet at UNED 40th Anniversary (25/10/2012)
Their work is framed in a difficult context: The employment opportunities of the Spanish population and foreign in the current economic crisis.
We asked James what are, broadly speaking, the main conclusions of this research?
My work focused on the types of employment obtained by those people who manage to get out of unemployment. One of the main results is that some foreign nationals from outside the European Union of the 15 have a higher probability of escape from unemployment, but at the expense of access to jobs and less-skilled. The causes of this ‘disadvantage’ with regard to Spanish are related to differences in the level of education and work experience, but there is also a significant influence of the type of employment that they had previously. Having worked for the last time in the worst positions in the labour market increases the probability of return to work in those jobs.
This is a line of work more or less consistent in your publications and research projects, how do you think that is affecting the crisis, particularly in the immigrant population, under your personal experience as a researcher?
The foreign population is suffering in greater measure to the crisis that the Spanish. The fact that they are younger, with less time in the labour market and educational levels lower, it makes their job situation more vulnerable, especially in times recessive as the one we are experiencing. What is worrying is that with the passing of the years of residence in Spain, it seems that their position in the labour market does not improve, and this happens not only now, but that already happened during the years of economic expansion.
In the case of women, how is the impact of the crisis?
The crisis has had an impact, more gentle in the employment of women than of men, although it is important to note that your activity level is lower than that of males. The differences are especially clear when comparing the situation of immigrant women with that of their fellow-countrymen. Since 2007, the level of occupation of these starts to fall in a much more intense that the one of them, mainly due to the type of sector in which they work.
As a researcher, you have had the opportunity to work in several centres abroad. These experiences have dedicated this Blog to the 40-year anniversary a few interviews. What centers have been, and what work or projects you took up there?
Last year I spent six months doing a research stay at the VU University of Amsterdam. The main objective was to make progress in my doctoral thesis project and the Department of Sociology of the VU had researchers working on issues related to the mine. The experience was very good, because at the end the stay was much more productive than expected and in addition to take an important step in my thesis, were emerging other academic projects with people from the University of Amsterdam.
How do you see research in abroad?Are there major differences between the researchers of other countries and the Spanish?
Because I believe that the young people who are studying doctoral studies arrive, in general terms, with a level of training superior to that of Spain, at least in the social sciences, that is what I know. The differences is not that they are huge, but you do realize that level is out and this forces you to put the batteries. On the other hand, it is true that the majority of the countries of central and northern Europe are investing more resources on research that us, and that is a key issue, but we don’t believe that they are not feeling the crisis. The Dutch universities are also suffering cuts hard to affect both the new hires as to the working conditions of young researchers.
Back to the UNED, how long years have you been in the Department of Sociology II, and how has been the experience?
Since some months I am assistant professor in the Department of Sociology II, where I impart the subject ‘Social Structure of Spain’ in the degrees of Sociology and of Political Science and public Administration. He had previously enjoyed a predoctoral scholarship of four years associated with a project that was developing in that same department. But my first contact with the UNED began in reality of student, already a few years ago, in studying the bachelor of Sociology in this house.
The UNED already has 40 years, and we all hope to meet, as a little, others 40. How do you see the future of our university?.
I think that the work the UNED is huge. In these times provides coverage to more than 250,000 students. In my case, this university allowed me to study Sociology while I was doing other things and that investment in education then has served me in my professional life. I hope that in the next few years, and once passed the crisis, the UNED continues to move forward and offer you a better service.