Staff Reporter WORKERS in the Balearics spend more hours on the job than anyone else in Spain, but their wages are below the national average. This was revealed in a survey on labour costs compiled by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), referring to the third quarter of the year. Each worker in the Balearics spends 141.8 effective hours a month at work. This includes overtime and complementary hours and discounts time not worked, such as coffee breaks. This puts them at the top of the league, in contrast to the Basque Country, where workers only put in 116.4 hours and are at the bottom of the list. Navarra (121.4 hours) and Aragon (121.3 hours) are second and third from bottom. The average for the country is 129.2 hours a month. However, the INE points out that figures refer to the third quarter, which is the slackest period of the year because of summer holidays. Workers in the Balearics were paid an average of 1'309 euros gross per month between July and September, 3.8 percent more than the same period last year, and they are ninth in the league. Top of the list are workers in the Basque Country, who, although they work fewer hours, earn 1'724 euros a month. Second is Madrid with 1'713 euros and third is Navarre with 1'485 euros. Labour costs in the Balearics, including social security and other concepts, came to 1'780 euros a month in the third quarter of the year. And contrary to what many employers claim, this was actually lower than the national average for Spain, which is 1'942 euros a month. Total labour costs in the Balearics rose by 5.1 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, compared to a 3.6 percent increase in the national average. The increase in costs was attributed to a 3.8 percent increase in wages and a 3.3 percent increase in “other costs” including social security payments. But the INE points out that quarterly labour costs behave in an irregular pattern, as payments made by employers vary in function of the payment of the extra month's salary in July and other complementary payments. The volume of work can also vary in the third quarter of the year, as it generally rises in the Balearics because of tourism, but drops in other parts of Spain because of holidays.