Balearic Minister for Labour, Eberhard Grosske, said yesterday that the region's record high unemployment levels are the price the Balearics is having to pay for the boom in economic growth over the past few years. Last month ended with 6.747 more people on the dole than in September last year, but yesterday Grosske admitted that, while there are 37.300 unemployed at the moment, by Christmas, 80.000 people could be claiming benefit. The situation is not quite critical, but one of the reasons Grosske called the press together yesterday was to outline a series of measures which are being adopted to prevent the unemployment offices being brought to a standstill over the next few months. Growth of the labour market and economic slowdown are what Grosske attributes for the sharp rise in unemployment, but he backs the Balearic government's intentions to slow the economy down in order to bring it under control. However, in doing so, while the government claims such a move is a vehicle to control immigration, the policy could cause a further rise in unemployment. Unemployment is now at levels similar to 1987, but Grosske was quick to point out that the government's bid to slow the economy can not be blamed for the recent surge in unemployment as it is still a proposal. Four new unemployment offices are to be opened, 27 extra members of staff and longer opening hours are to be introduced in an attempt to deal with the expected rise in unemployment.

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