Three out of every ten contracts signed in February last less than a month

The duration of contracts registered in public employment services stood at an average of 48.49 days in February, its lowest figure in this month since 2006, despite the fact that the labor reform introduced penalties for very short contracts. duration and that it established the indefinite contract as the ordinary one, according to data from the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) collected by Europa Press.

Specifically, the labor reform contemplates an additional contribution to be paid by employers at the end of temporary contracts of less than 30 days, which is currently set at 29.74 euros.

However, the final Order of Contribution Bases for 2024, which will be published soon, will increase this penalty by 5%, up to 31.22 euros, in line with the increase that the minimum base will experience (5%, the same as the interprofessional minimum wage).

This penalty was conceived as a way to discourage companies from making very short contracts, lasting only days or just four weeks.

The average duration of February contracts (48.49 days) is the lowest for a February month since the beginning of the series in 2006, the year in which this indicator stood at 85.01 days on average. Since that year, the average duration of contracts registered in the months of February, in which many contracts end due to the end of the sales campaign, begins to decrease.

In 2008, the average duration of contracts stood at 84.46 days in February and in 2011 it was already at 69 days. In 2013 the average was below 60 days.

In February 2021, when the labor reform was not yet in force, the average duration of contracts was 56.13 days, a percentage that rose to 57.83 days in February 2022, but which fell again, this time to 51.99 days, in February 2023.

However, Labor sources specify that the disappearance of the work and service contract established in the 2021 labor reform means that the most recent data is not strictly comparable with the oldest data collected in the SEPE series.

The explanation is that the contract for work and service, which before the labor reform accounted for close to 40% of hiring in Spain, could last months or years, therefore affecting the average duration data.

When this contract is removed from the statistics, which Labor eliminated because it was considered that it was often used to cover jobs that were indefinite in nature, there is a cut in the average duration of the contracts and the real duration of the temporary contract is reflected to a greater extent. that is made in Spain.


In February, 1,137,407 contracts were registered, 4.8% more than in the same month of 2023. Of all of them, 523,445 were permanent contracts, 6.1% higher than a year earlier, and 613,962 were contracts temporary, almost 3.8% more than in the same month of 2023.

In total, temporary contracts represented almost 54% of the total hiring carried out in the second month of the year, while 46% were permanent, a percentage that exceeds that registered in January, when the proportion of permanent contracts was 42.7 %.

In the first two months of the year, 2.3 million contracts have been made, 1.6% more than in the same period of 2023. Of these, 1.03 million have been permanent contracts, 0.6% more, while that 1.29 million have been temporary, which is 2.4% more than in the same period last year.

According to SEPE data for the month of February, one in five contracts (20.7%) that were signed in the month (235,439 contracts) lasted less than a week, while 54,850 contracts (4.8% of the total) They lasted between 7 and 15 days.

In addition, 58,906 contracts were signed with a duration of between 15 days and one month, 5.1% of the total, and 95,475 between one month and three months, 8.4%.

In this way, 30.7% of the contracts signed in February had a duration of less than one month, and almost 40% had a duration of less than three months.


The year-on-year increase in permanent hiring in February was a consequence of the increases registered in full-time, part-time and permanent-discontinuous contracts.

Specifically, in February there were 246,879 full-time permanent contracts, 7% more than in the same month last year; 144,201 permanent-discontinuous contracts (2% year-on-year) and 132,365 part-time indefinite contracts (9.1%).

Some experts point out that, although the labor reform has increased the conversion of temporary workers into permanent ones, it has also increased the “mortality” of ordinary indefinite contracts, so that, although more contracts of this type are made, their duration is minor.

Despite the penalty for short-term contracts, the pattern of hiring on Monday and firing on Friday, of making contracts only for the weekend and of hiring on the first day of the month to fire on the last day of the month continues. according to a recent report published by Fedea.