Palma.—Albeit a rather small decline, 0.58 percent in comparison to January, the Balearics, along with Extremadura, were the only two regions in Spain which saw a fall in the number of people out of work.

At the end of last month, 98'352 people were officially registered as unemployed in the Balearics, 575 less than the month before.
However, year-on-year, Balearic unemployment is up by 9.7 percent with 8'690 more people out of work than at the end of February last year and local trade union bosses claimed this drop is just a blip and certainly does not mean that unemployment is going to continue falling in the Balearics.

As the Bulletin reported yesterday, over the past three years, nearly 60'000 jobs have been destroyed hence the unions' skepticism because they claim, jobs simply no longer exist.

But, Balearic government spokesperson, Rafel Bosch, said that the figures are “positive” and that the situation will improve further once the new, yet highly unpopular and controversial, labour reforms have been fully introduced.

Bosch claimed that the driving force behind the revival in the employment market in the Balearics is the service sector and that is only going to get stronger as we near the tourist season and, with Easter falling early this year, Bosch believes that this will only serve to create even more jobs and earlier than usual.

Nevertheless, he was forced to admit that it is cyclical, with a drop in the number of jobless during the summer and sharp rise during the winter because the bulk of the new positions are seasonal.

And this is why the unions are not convinced - one warned that this minimal fall is just a “mirage” and that there are 50'000 people out of work who are no longer entitled to benefits and with it now easier for struggling companies to lay people off, unemployment figures are only going to rise in the long term.


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