By Jason Moore
THE jobless level in the Balearics continues to rise and I sincerely doubt that the Balearic economy is recovering I would say that struggling is probably more apt. Despite having one of the largest foreign work forces in the country there are now almost 50'000 people claiming unemployment benefit in the islands. Obviously there are many who have just finished working in the tourist industry and will now sit out the winter claiming unemployment benefit. But it is quite evident to see that there has been a slowdown in the local economy....you just have to walk up the high street. There are even some empty shop places in the Jaime III a state of affairs I have never seen. Why is the local economy suffering? Well apart from higher mortgages rates the small army of tourists which came to the Balearics this year actually spent less money. Now this is really bad news because for many years the local economy depended on tourists spending heavily eventhough they may have not paid too much for their holiday. The construction industry, which for so long has kept thousands of people in work, has slowed down because there are no major public works to be completed. So all in all not a very buoyant state of affairs and I suspect that things are going to get worse before they get better. Our principal industry, tourism, should be looked at with a fine tooth comb to discover its faults. We may have the volume but if we haven´t got the spending then there will be problems. Taking all I have said into account I would ask shops, bars and restaurants not to consider any major prices rises over the New Year because I don´t think the hard-pressed consumer could face yet even higher prices.

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