DURING the second half of 2006 the Balearics recorded an interannual rise in employment of 6.2 percent, according to the Labour Situation Poll for the fourth quarter of 2006.

The poll reflects that business people believe that the islands will be one of the regions where employment will grow most in 2007.
This poll, done for the Spanish Ministry for Work and Social Affairs, is based on research among 12'000 Spanish companies.
In all, the number of indefinite contracts rose by 602'100 during the second half of 2006, as a consequence of the labour reforms coming into force, while the number of temporary contracts went from 35.9 percent in June to 31.9 percent in December.

During the last quarter of 2006, employment with indefinite contracts rose by 775'000, which was an increase of 9.5 percent in comparison with the same period in 2005, while temporary contracts decreased by four percent, 174'100 less.

Also in 2006 the total number of jobs occupied by employees outside the agricultural sector was 13.1 million, which was an increase of 4.8 percent in comparison with 2005, and 600'900 jobs occupied for more than a year.

Of the total jobs occupied, some 68 percent are with indefinite contracts, (some 8'918'000), and 4'182'300 are with temporary contracts (the remaining 32 percent). As for working hours, 84 percent of employees work full time and the rest part time.

In addition to this, during the last quarter of 2006, female employment increased by six percent (303'400 more jobs) and male employment increased by four percent (397'500 more) in comparison to the same period of 2005.

With regard to the type of working day, part time work rose by 5.3 percent (105'700 more jobs), while full time work grew by 4.7 percent (495'100 more jobs).

By sectors, the greatest rise in interannual employment was in the construction sector with seven percent (121'700 more jobs), followed by the service sector with 5.6 percent (472'600 more), and industry with 0.3 percent (6'600 more).

Also in the last quarter of 2006, in companies with one to 10 employees, the number of jobs occupied rose by 3.3 percent (112'500 more jobs); in companies with 11 to 50 workers employment rose by 2.9 percent (101'800 more); in companies with 51 to 250 workers employment increased by 6.4 percent (169'700 more); and in companies with more than 250 workers it rose by 7.4 percent (216'800 more).

By regions, there were interannual rises above the national average in Castilla-La Mancha (7.9 percent), Cantabria (7.8 percent), Extremadura (7.2 percent), Andalucia (6.9 percent), the Balearics (6.2 percent), Aragon (5.8 percent), Murcia (5.7 percent), Galicia (5.5 percent) and Navarra (5.1 percent). The Ministry said that business people are predicting a growth of 2.2 percent in employment in 2007 and 1.3 percent for the first quarter.