The Balearic government confidently predicts that by the end of 2022 the economy will have returned to the rude health that it enjoyed in 2019 - a record year, according to Iago Negueruela.
Which record was the minister referring to? It wasn’t growth, as this had faltered from the dizzy heights of circa four per cent in post-financial crisis years characterised by the “borrowing” of tourists from competitor destinations blighted by terrorist security risks.
My guess is that he was talking about employment, for this is one of three portfolio hats that Sr. Negueruela possesses, four if you include being the government’s spokesperson. Employment was indeed at a record level in 2019. A record when one considers the social security registrations for the middle months of the year.
And why? Tourism, that’s why.
Recruitment firm Randstad has looked at employment data and concluded that the growth in hiring in the hospitality sector has been higher in the Balearics than any other region. This is a perfectly plausible conclusion, because of a tourism rebound said to have been better than expected.
But this joyous news, combined with the growth forecasts, cannot disguise the elephants in the room. One is ERTE. It has to end some time. Will this lead to job losses? The other is the nature of employment. For all the minister’s wishes, the great bulk of hiring remains temporary, poorly paid and precarious.
Recovery, but recovery to how it always was.