Palma.—There was some encouraging news yesterday for the Balearics after the unemployment rate dropped by 2'252 people as retailers hired extra staff for the festive period.

However, there are still 96'000 people without a job in the islands, a record high.
The Balearic government was quick to welcome the good news yesterday indicating that the jobless rate had fallen by two percent compared to December 2011. But the trade unions, who have been criticial of the government´s economic policies, claimed that the figures had been bolstered by short-term hiring and therefore they did not give an accurate picture of the jobless problem in the Balearics.

Even the Confederation of Balearic Business Federation gave a muted welcome to the news yesterday and called on the Balearic government to tackle the problem of the long term unemployed. The Balearic government, in a statement yesterday, said that he hoped that the jobless rate would continue to fall as the local economy started to recover. During the winter months the unemployment rate is always far higher because the majority of hotels in the resorts are closed. Many hotels are not expected to reopen again until May because of the poor winter season and the lack of winter holiday makers.

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