By Humphrey Carter

COME Christmas, there could be tens of thousands more people out of work in the Balearics than the local government has predicted, according to the UGT General Workers Union yesterday.

The latest unemployment figures have set alarm bells ringing across the country and UGT Secretary Manuel Pelarda, warned that the total number of people out of work in the Balearics by the end of this year could reach as high as 110'000, some 30'000 higher than the Balearic government's estimates.

At yesterday's Balearic cabinet meeting, it was agreed that four million euros should be immediately pumped into breathing some new life into the employment sector and creating new jobs in an attempt to slow the rate of unemployment down.

However, the Balearic Minister for Employment, Joana Barcelo, while admitting that the latest figures are serious, attributed the sharp rise in the number of unemployed to the continual increase in the size of the region's active population as opposed to a massive wave of job cuts and redundancies.


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