OVER the past three months, 15.900 people have lost their jobs in the Balearics, taking the regional jobless total to 48.800, just over 12 per cent of the active population and well above the national average
The 41'03 per cent rise in unemployment in the Balearics for the first quarter, is the second highest in Spain behind the 18.000 who lost their jobs in Madrid. Workers in the Balearics have been some of the worst hit by economic downturn this year, in particular women.
The national statistics institute also reported that the number of unemployed in Spain rose by 64'500 in the first quarter, for a jobless rate of 11.73 percent. But while the national jobless numbers reflect stable growth in Spain, which had largely been spared the slowdown which hit other euro zone economies like Germany in the first quarter of 2003 amid uncertainty linked to the war in Iraq, according to Secretary of State for the Economy Luis de Guindos, the Balearics has bucked the trend. Regional union leaders yesterday said that the May 1 march through Palma, under the banner “peace, decent work and social justice”, will be used to call for greater inter-union co-operation and the setting up of a special commission to help workers “through these difficult times.”

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