THE number of people out of work in the tourist sector in Spain in the final quarter of 2010 stood at 387'060 the Institute for Tourism Studies (IET) said yesterday.

The Institute said that the unemployment rate in the tourist industry is running at 15.7 percent, 4.6 percent less thant the overall national unemployment figure of 20.3 percent of the working population.

Jobs related to tourism have gone down in all regions of the country except in Madrid and Valencia where figures went up by 5.4 and 2.2 percent respectively.

The tourist sector where there is the largest number of jobs is in food and drinks, confirmed the IET - 48.7 percent of the total.
However, a slump in figures of 5.7 percent in the last quarter of 2010 was due to a downturn in activity in the food and drink sector. Regardless, accommodation services were up during the same period by 2.8 percent, passenger transport (2.7%) and a range of other services related to tourism such as travel agencies, car hire, leisure activity, culture and sport) which were up by 1.6 percent.

Foreign labour in the Spanish tourism sector grew by 0.6 percent in the final quarter of last year, a further 2'658 people to reach a new total of nearly 463'000. Of this figure, 87.1 percent were wage earners with a temporary contract.