by Jason Moore

If the unemployment rate had actually fallen in September it would have been a miracle. Hundreds of hotels are busy closing their doors for the winter along with surrounding restaurants and bars. The fact that the jobless rate increase by 2'000 people is relatively low when you take into account the number of people who are employed in the tourist industry. The fact that the unemployment rate was not higher adds weight to the claim that the Balearics is enjoying a late summer surge in bookings and as a direct result hotels are staying open later. There is no escaping the fact that the islands are in the middle of a severe recession and companies have been forced to cut back on staff. This is the principal reason why we have more than 77'000 people without a job. Now the opposition have rounded on the Balearic government claimed that the jobless rate is a disgrace. More a sign of the times than a disgrace. But it does underline the fact that the government should be doing more to encourage more winter tourism. Even the state-funded holiday scheme for Spanish pensioners is being reduced so that there will be fewer hotels open this winter. The only way to create large amounts of jobs on the island is for the summer season to last longer. If hotels could open all year around it would go a long way to resolve the island´s high rate of unemployment. More winter flights, more hotels open in the winter is the way forward and this should be the government´s top priority.