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STAFF REPORTER
PALMA/MADRID

THE Balearic Islands was the region of Spain where unemployment figures rocketed the most last month, said Central Government's Ministry for Employment yesterday.

The ministry's published report showed that a further 9'567 people in the Islands were registered as being without a job in October, 13.27 percent more than a month earlier, bringing the total number of unemployed in the region to 81'683.

In comparison with the same month in 2008, there are now 43.35 percent more jobless in the Balearics than there were in October last year - an extra 24'701 people without work within the space of just one year.

With rising unemployment still having being registered in October, it is now the third consecutive month when numbers of jobless have been on the increase in the region. In September, the Balearics were also top of Spain's list for the degree to which unemployment was rising - it increased by 7.9 percent in comparison with figures for August, and in August, the dole queue grew by 4.3 percent in comparison with numbers for July. In July though, there had been a slight downturn in unemployment figures, of 0.21 percent, in comparison with those for June. Nevertheless, even in July, the Balearics was declared by Central Government as being the region of the country where unemployment had declined the least.

In Spain as a whole, coinciding with the end of the tourist season, a further 98'906 signed onto the dole queue last month, increasing unemployment figures by 2.67 percent in comparison with September. There are now 3'808'353 people without work right across the country.

According to the ministry's report, unemployed men in the Balearics accounted for 44'865 of the total of 81'683. Of all the people registered as being without a job in October, 12'633 were under 25 years of age - of this figure, 7'065 were men.

Analysing the sectors of industry in the Balearics where unemployed was most prevalent last month, it was the services sector - with the holiday season having drawn to a close - which appears to have borne the brunt of the soaring jobless figures. Other areas affected though were light industry (334), those who had never had a previous job (130) and in agriculture (129). There was some good news in that the construction industry, most badly hit of all by the economic crisis had found work for a further 307 people who therefore signed off the unemployment register. The number of people who had permanent job contracts last month in the Balearics stood at 23'587, a downturn of 106 in comparison to the previous month.

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