by Staff Reporter
THE number of jobless in the Balearics rose by 1'411 to 22'137 persons in June compared to the same month last year, an increase of 6.8 percent, according to figures published yesterday by the ministry of labour.

On the national front, the number of jobless actually dropped by 1.69 percent (28'015 persons) to 1'626'134 persons. This was the fifth consecutive fall since February and was higher that the drop in June last year.

In the past 12 months, the number of people who have signed on the unemployment exchange nationwide has risen by 25'462 (1.59 percent).
In the Balearics, the number of new job contracts signed compared to last June rose by 29.1 percent (8'602) to a total of 38'164, while the number of people seeking their first job rose by 1'614 to 23'186.

In comparison with May, the number of jobless dropped by 4.1 percent (949 persons) while the number of contracts signed dropped by 19.8 percent (9'439 fewer).

The number of jobless in the service sector (tourism) dropped by 912 persons compared to May, but there were still more than 15'500 people seeking work in this sector, the most important one in the local economy.

There was a slight drop in unemployment in the building sector, where 3'695 people were seeking work, and the number of jobless in industry fell by 106 persons to 1'522.

In agriculture, 20 people found work, leaving the jobless total at 135, but there were 91 new job-seekers bringing the total to 1'207.

A spokesman for the USO union said that the June on June increase in unemployment could be attributed to a type of tourism which cannot be asked for more. A spokesman says the 6.8 percent increase reflects a stagnation in the tourist sector, and is clear evidence that the tourist tax did not have such a negative effect on the tourist season as had been believed.

He added that the causes should be sought internally, and stressed the need to change the current model of tourism, making an effort to diversify more, promote a market image of quality (not just sun and sand) and strengthen links with other productive sectors such as agriculture and industry.

The Workers Commissions (CC.OO) said that it was necessary to introduce “urgent measures” agreed between the government, management and unions, to lengthen the season and boost the economy to put an end to the “job crisis” in the Balearics.

He said the June on June increase was “worrying” and showed the need to negotiate and reach agreement among all sectors to prevent the “possible economic crisis” and improve the situation of the workforce.

The Balearic ministry of labour said that the June figures showed that “there have never been so many people working in the Balearics in June as in this year.” It denied that the parallel increase in unemployment represented a loss of jobs, but reflected a growth in the workforce, which is 6'255 more than June last year.