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LOOKING at unemployment figures for the Islands in the first few months of this year, there is no evidence that numbers of immigrants here are having a major impact on dole queues. In fact, when comparing the figures with those of other Mediterrean regions, the Balearics presents a picture of immigrant unemployment well below the national average.

According to a job market survey, Murcia, Valencia, Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha are regions where immigrants out of work are making a clear difference to unemployment figures. The research showed that although there were factors in common from one part of the country to another, there were also elements which created notable imbalance, above all the presence of a sizeable unemployed immigrant population and instances where construction work was once booming but is now on the wane.

Nevertheless, looking at the Balearics in more detail, unemployment figures amongst the foreign population for February this year had actually risen by 30 percent in comparison with the same period last year, but the increase can be juxtaposed with an upturn of 11 percent on the dole queue for the rest of the Islands' population.

In summary, a total of 13'087 foreigners were registered as being out of work here last month, 3'000 more than last year.
Figures from the central government ministry of Employment and Social Affairs show that 8'425 of these come from countries outside the European Union whilst 4'661 are nationals of EU Member States. Nevertheless, the data reveals that there has been a 6.6 percent decline in unemployment amongst foreigners since January with nearly 1'000 less people on the dole. The Balearics is still below the national average in this respect as the 258'365 foreign unemployed across the country represent an increase of 53.8 percent on the same period a year ago, and 7.3 percent up on January this year.