1

Here in the Balearics we are slightly luckier than the rest of Spain, bar the Canary Islands, because this year the tourist season is going to run for slightly longer than in recent years, but the unemployment figures released today indicate that things are already slowing down: here in the Balearics and across Spain as a whole.

Unemployment rose for the first time in five months in August – as happens every year as the tourism season ends. The country has enjoyed a record summer for holiday visitors, which has helped the Spanish economy shrug off a prolonged period of political uncertainty, with two inconclusive elections in the past eight months and a third looming. Compared with July the jobless number rose by 0.39 per cent, or 14,435 people, leaving 3.7 million out of work.

Increases in unemployment are common in Spain in August, as factories reduce activity in what is the peak holiday season. Yes, hotels and restaurants are continuing to be busy in the Balearics, and hotel occupancy for this month is being set at 100 per cent.

But the cruel reality is that come the end of this month, the Balearics, especially the resorts, will begin shutting up for the winter and that is when it will be revealed whether the bumper season with a record number of visitors translated into a lucrative season for resort businesses, as opposed to cheap alcohol suppliers to the all-inclusive, and more long-term jobs.