Worker cooperatives in Spain have grown by 32% in the third quarter of 2013, compared to the same period last year, according to data recently released by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. Again, this demonstrates how this business model grows and its resilience in spite of the economic situation.
Analyzing the increase by region, almost all of them have grown. In Andalusia the rate is particularly high, 60% over the same period last year; followed by Murcia, with an increase of 21 %. Worker cooperatives in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Valencia have increased more than 11 %.
These percentages show the employment recovery in worker cooperatives gets to the levels registered in 2007. The president of the Spanish Confederation of Worker Cooperatives (COCETA), Juan Antonio Pedreño has indicated that while worker cooperatives “are no strangers to hardship and suffer the blows of the overall situation, they have managed to not only maintain but increase the number of jobs” while stressing that ”we are talking about long term jobs, employment has grown since 2007 by more than 10 points, while temporary employment has decreased by more than 8 points”.
Over 80% of the people in these businesses have a steady job, since they are members of the cooperative. In addition, women hold nearly 50% of cooperative jobs, and 40% of the positions of responsibility, which is above other business models. “This is not just any job but a quality one, based on the essence of cooperatives: democracy, social responsibility, solidarity, commitment and flexibility, as evidenced by the fact that the survival of cooperatives has also experienced growth", Pedreño concludes.