By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THIS Christmas is going to be very bleak for an estimated 80'000 jobless in the Balearics after the region suffered the sharpest rise in unemployment last month.

Across the country, the surge in people losing their jobs tended to slow slightly, but here in the Balearics, 13'162 jobs were axed pushing the total number of unemployed up by 23 percent to 70'144 with the Balearic government forced to admit that this year will draw to a close with at least 80'000 out of work.

The Balearic Minister for Employment, Joana Barcelo, said that the latest figures have dealt the Balearics a “tough blow”.
The number of unemployed in the Balearics has risen by nearly 50 percent since this time last year and 15 percent of the active population is out of work.

Back in the middle of the summer, Barcelo set the “psychological barrier” at 80'000 unemployed at the end of this month but, while business associations doubt the total will reach that figure, local union bosses are warning that over 100'000 people could start the new year with no job.

At the heart of the escalating problem is not only the continued increase in the number of jobs being lost but a further fall in the number of new jobs being created.

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