In July last year, the average number of people in the Balearics registered with social security was 591,697, a great number of them in the services sector, tourism in particular. Direct employment in the tourism sector (hotels, restaurants, etc.) in the third quarter was 166,906.

The Balearic government has approved a decree of urgent measures that it says will generate 31,000 jobs. Assuming these jobs were to all be created, they would equate to just over five per cent of that social security figure from last July. The majority of the jobs would be in the construction industry.

This job creation will be very welcome, but the figures do rather speak for themselves, as also does the worst-case figure that the government has cited for the rise in unemployment - 30%. There isn’t a precise correlation, but that July number will do for the purposes of example - a loss of 177,809 jobs, not far off being equivalent to tourism sector direct employment in the third quarter of last year.

ERTE aside, the potential job destruction is obvious. Tourism recovery is essential. There will be some this year, but what about 2021? It isn’t just the jobs, it is the impact on the broader economy. The scale of the tourism industry determines this in a far more significant way than, for example, construction does, even with the multiplier effect that this government spending will produce.

The 30,000-plus jobs will be something, but only something.


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