STAFF REPORTER

MAJORCA'S unemployment figures for January this year (72'264) rose by 23.62 percent in comparison with the same month last year, the Balearic Job Agency (SOIB) reported yesterday.

The areas worst hit by lack of jobs have been the coastal areas of the island and the central region of es Raiguer. Municipalities where there are tourist resorts such as Manacor have seen year-on-year unemployment rise by 20.14 percent; Son Servera (13.38%); Sant Llorenç (31.73%); Calvia (19.26%); Andratx (20.26%); and Ses Salines (10%), all because of the services sector grinding to a halt.

Year-on-year numbers of jobless have grown in all the municipalities of Majorca except in Deya where they have fallen by -7.40 percent. The fall in unemployment there has been registered because there are now 25 people registered as being out of work as opposed to the 27 who were listed in January last year.

Despite the coastal areas being notably affected by unemployment because of lack of tourist activity in January, the central “es Raiguer” district continues to be the area of the island where the numbers of jobless are at their highest.

Unemployment in “es Raiguer” affects many towns which depend on key industries such as Consell where the year-on-year growth rise in the number of those without work was registered in January this year at 25.84 percent; in Lloseta (30.68%); and in Inca (24.15%). Towns such as these suffer month after month from rising unemployment.

It is of little comfort therefore that the rate at which the numbers of jobless is rising is not as fast ast it was at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when percentage increases soared as high as 76 percent.

There are other small towns with good reason to worry. In Ariany, for example, there were 8 people registered as unemployed in January 2009, but the 37 who declared themselves as jobless a year later mean that the dole queue there has rocketed by 362.5 percent.

In Escorca, unemployment has doubled and in Costitx where 49 people were registered unemployed in January last year, the year-on-year rise has been almost 60 percent with 78 people claiming benefit.

In the municipalities in the “Pla” district of Majorca (also centrally located) such as Porreres, there has been a 27.34 percent increase in unemployment between January last year and the start of 2010. Also affected in the same district since the start of the recession, but less dramatically than a year ago are Sant Joan (29.33%); Petra (28.77%); and Vilafranca (27.89%).

Other municipalities where year-on-year unemployment has grown significantly are: Santa Maria (40.36%); Sineu (47.82%); Puigpunyent (65.38%); Esporles (68.34%) and to a lesser extent in Pollensa (17.33%) and Capdepera (7.6%).

In a recent review of unemployment figures for the Balearic Islands, regional Minister for Employment and Training, Joana Barcelo claimed that “the worst of the recession is behind us, although the effects of it may be felt for years.” She reported that there were a little more than 90'500 people in the labour market registered as being without work but the figure failed to take into account those who have ceased to contribute to Social Security, believing that the benefit system has failed them.