University graduates are 14.5% less likely to be long-term unemployed than primary school graduates

According to data from Human Capital bulletin number 122, which was prepared by Bancaja and Ivie, age and level of education are the most decisive factors influencing the probability of long-term unemployment (defined as unemployment lasting more than one year).

As shown in Figure 1, second-cycle university graduates are 14.5% less likely to experience long-term unemployment than individuals who have only finished primary school, whilst first-cycle university graduates are 13.8% less likely to be long-term unemployed than the primary school group.

Moreover, individuals 55 or over are 20.8% more likely to experience long-term unemployment than unemployed people between age 16 and 24.The data produced by Bancaja and Ivie also show that women are 2% more likely to be unemployed for over a year, whilst Spaniards are 6.9% more likely to face this situation.



Figure 1: Differing probabilities of experiencing long-term unemployment. 2010. Percentage

Compulsory secondary education



Age: 25 to 34




Post-compulsory secondary education



Age: 35 to 44



Balearic Islands


Advanced vocational training



Age: 45 to 54



Canary Islands



Diplomatura [first-cycle degree]



Age: 55+


Valencian Com.



Licenciatura [second-cycle degree]










Benchmark individual: Foreign male between age 16 and 24 with primary school studies residing in the Community of Madrid. Only autonomous communities with statistically significant results were included in results.

Source: National Statistics Institute + in-house preparation


Place of residence also matters. People in the Balearic Islands are 7% less likely to experience long-term unemployment than those living in the Community of Madrid, whilst individuals living in the Canary Islands or the Valencian Community are 7% more likely to face this situation.In the remaining autonomous communities, differences in probability were not statistically significant.

Graph 1 shows how the percentage of long-term unemployed increased with age whilst the unemployment rate (unemployed as a percentage of employed workers) observed the inverse trend.

Consequently, older workers are less likely to be unemployed, but if they are unemployed, they have a harder time finding a new job, pushing them to leave the job market.


More training needed

The longer an individual is unemployed, the more his/her human capital decreases, making it harder for him/her to find another job. Ivie has indicated that individuals in this situation primarily need more training.

In addition to decreasing the likelihood of being unemployed, training decreases the length of unemployment, making it less likely that this unemployment will become permanent.

Since 1994, Bancaja and Ivie have been developing the Human Capital Project.

This has led the two to create various databases measuring human capital indicators and to carry out research on their relation to work placement, economic growth, regional development, and well-being.

The full contents of Human Capital bulletin number 122 can be found on the Bancaja’s Welfare Project website ( or on Ivie’s website (


Premsa Fundació Bancaixa
96 064 58 46

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