Last year the average wage in Spain rose by 2.3 per cent, to 225'147 pesetas, however in the Balearics, the average wage is still lower at 204'441 pesetas. According to a report released yesterday by the National Statistics Institute, wages in 1999 rose by six per cent less than inflation. The biggest winners were construction industry workers, they saw pay go up by nearly four per cent - although at the end of the day, the construction industry is still the lowest payer in Spain. The biggest earners are in the Basque Country, picking up an average monthly pay cheque of around 269'139 pesetas. The lowest rates of pay are in Murcia where the average monthly wage is 176'111 and only rose by 1.8 per cent last year. While Andalucia has one of the biggest unemployment problems in Spain, those with a job are still, on average, taking home more than in the Balearics.