Palma.—The number of people unemployed in the Balearic Islands rose by 15'500 in the first quarter of the year compared with the final quarter of 2010, the National Institute of Statistics confirmed yesterday. The figures mean that the numbers of jobless during this period have risen to 25.36 percent of the total labour force and bring the number of unemployed in the region to a new record of 144'100.

At the close of the first quarter of the year, the Balearic Islands had 16'700 more people out of work than a year ago. The rate of unemployment in the Islands stands 4 decimal points above the national average unemployment rate (21.29%) and 3 points higher than the national average registered in the final quarter of 2010.

According to the INE's data, unemployment rose in the Balearics by 12.03 percent in the first quarter of this year (to reach 25.36 percent), the second highest increase in numbers of jobless in the country. The Balearics is superseded only by the region of Navarre where the increase for the same period had been 16.76 percent.

When making the comparison with the first quarter in 2010 (as opposed to the final), the Balearic Islands again have the highest increase in unemployment (13.09 percent) trailing only behind Aragon where the figure for the same period was 15.96 percent.

Balearics leads in job losses
During the first quarter of the year, the Balearics was once again witnessing job losses, with 26'000 less places available in the labour market, a 5.7 percent downturn. This puts the Islands as the region where there had been the largest number of job losses in the first quarter in comparison with the final quarter of last year. At a national level there were 256'500 job losses during the first quarter of the year, a downturn of -1.39 percent in comparison with the final quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, the employment rate in the Islands (as a percentage of the total labour force) stood at 63.17 percent, the second highest in the country, superseded only by Madrid with 64.24 percent. Across the country as a whole, the number of unemployed grew by 213'500 people in the first quarter.

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