By Lois Jones

THE number of unemployed in the Balearics fell at the end of June by 1'016 people, in relation to the previous month.
The total unemployment figure stands at 20'726 or 5.1 percent of the working population.
According to information released by the Ministry of Employment, the percentage fall in the number of those registered as being without work on the Islands in June was 4.67 against the May figure, whilst in the whole of Spain, unemployment was down only 0.47 percent. Furthermore, the bill for supporting those out of work in the Balearics (5.1 percent) is the lowest of all Spain's self-governing communities, at three and a half points of the national average (8.6). Looking at June 2002, the unemployment figure in the Islands rose to 2'725 (15.14 percent).
In the three previous years, registered unemployment for the month of June varied as follows: in 2000 it went down by 4.7 percent; in 2001 it decreased by 3.26 percent and in 2002 by 4.8 percent. At the end of last month, the unemployment figure for men stood at 9'869 showing a decrease on the previous month of 71 (-0.71 percent), while the figure for women registered at 10'857 confirming a drop of 945 against the month of May (-8.01 percent). In comparison with June of 2002, unemployment figures for men rose by 1'887 and for women by 838.
At the end of June, the bill for male unemploymnet was 4.16 percent and for women 6.43 percent.
By employment sector, the figures for those registered as being out of work varied in the following degrees: in Agriculture there was a decrease of 20 (-15.50 percent); figures for Industry dropped by 58 (-3.62 percent); in Construction it rose by 197 (5.98 percent); in Service Industries the figures fell by 1'224 (-7.83 percent) and the previous collective total for those out of work rose by 89 (8.24 percent). Figures for young people under the age of 25 registered as unemployed dropped in June by 130 people (-3.22 percent); numbers for unemployed men rose by 75 but numbers for women fell by 205. Compared to June of the previous year, unemployment for men under 25 rose by 559 and for women of the same age group, figures went up by 277.
In June, the numbers of those employed with contracts in the Balearics stood at 29'562, that is to say 6'253 less than in the month of May.
Of those, 2'762 were indefinite contracts, a decline of 1'853 compared to the previous month.
June normally sees a much sharper increase in the number of people finding work with the tourist industry preparing for peak season, recruiting thousands of part-time staff. But this year, while there has been a pre-summer season drop in unemployment, local union leaders have expressed concerns that some areas of the sector are hesitating over part-time contracts, waiting to see how the peak season tourist figures develop. Others, especially some of the private hotel owners, are prepared to close for the winter at the end of September, much earlier than usual, not only reducing the season this year, but also earnings for season staff. Spain's registered unemployment rate remained steady at 8.6 percent in June from May, the Labour Ministry said on Thursday, as the number of registered unemployed edged a tad lower. The number of Spaniards registered as unemployed fell in June - for the fifth month running by 7'590 people to stand at 1.6 million people, the ministry said in a statement. Unemployment typically eases in June as Spain's key tourism industry kicks off. Last year the number of registered unemployed fell by more than 20'000 people in June. The figures are based on the number of people signing on at Labour Ministry offices and are much lower than those from the National Statistics Institute used for international comparisons. The National Statistics's survey showed Spain's jobless rate rising to 11.73 percent of the workforce in the first quarter of 2003 compared with 11.45 percent in the final quarter of 2002.