Staff Reporter
THE Confederation of Balearic businesses (CAEB) has blamed recent economic stagnation on the high level of unemployment in the Islands registered in 2003 and on the massive influx of immigrants. Speaking to the media yesterday, the head of Economy within CAEB, Vicenç Tur, explained that the weak impetus in economic growth in the region has not allowed industry to absorb the amount of people who are currently offering their skills on the job market. Numbers looking for work have swollen over the last few years due to the arrival of large numbers of immigrants over the past few years. Last year, unemployment figures in the Balearics rose by 6'900 in 2003, an increase of 20.93 percent over and above the previous year. As a result, the total of registered unemployed in the region stood at 39'800. The National Institute of Statistics confirmed yesterday that this represents 9.38 percent of the regional workforce. Unemployment across Spain stands at 2'127'100 people, 11.2 percent of the workforce. Tur believed that with the recovery of economic growth from the beginning of this year, the situation will improve. In spite of the complexities of the labour market, the success of a revitalised tourist industry will play a key role in this development.

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