Staff reporter THE number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the Balearics at the end of October this year, increased by 5'595 in comparison with the previous month. Total numbers now reach 28'175 which is 6.37 percent of the work force. According to the Ministry of Employment and in relative terms, the increase in the number of people registering as unemployed in the Community in October was 24.78 percent in relation to September, the highest difference recorded across all the regions of Spain, and nearly seven times higher than the increase registered nationally, which was 3.67 percent. In spite of this situation, the rate of unemployment in the Balearic islands (6.37%) continues to be, along with that of Catalonia, the second lowest in Spain, one and a half points below the national average of 8.8%. In relation to October of 2002, unemployment in the Balearics rose by 2'814 people (11.1%). Unemployment figures for men in the Balearics at the end of last month stood at 13'163, showing an increase over and above the previous month of 1'976 (17.66%), while those for women registered 15'012, an increase of 3'619 (31.77%) over September. In comparison with October 2002, male unemployment rose by 1'908 and female by 906. Analysed by sector, registered unemployment varied as follows: in agriculture, it rose by 23 (16.43%); in Industry by 174 (10.46%); in construction, it fell by 92 (-2.16%); in public services, it grew by 5'415 (34.8%) and in the group as yet with no employment at all, it rose by 75 (7.78%). Unemployment in young people under 25 years of age, grew in October by 1'643 (40.19%); in men by 611 and in women by 1'023. Comparied to October of the previous year, unemployment for men in this age bracket grew by 338 people and for women in the same category by 146. The number of job contracts signed in October rose to 34'619, that is to say 8'713 more than in September. Of this total, 3'613 were indefinite, an increase of 1'007 in respect of September.