THE number of foreigners paying Social Security contributions in the Balearics was, at the end of last month, 65'409, which is an increase of 4.2 percent in comparison with January (2'640 more).

Throughout Spain the number of foreigners signed up was 1'876'401, some 1.56 percent more, according to figures published yesterday by the Spanish Ministry of Work and Social Affairs.

As in January, construction was the main sector on the islands employing foreigners, having 35.7 percent of Social Security contributors (16'892), which was 5.6 percent more than in January. The vast majority of these (13'641) come from countries outside of the European Union, and just 3'251 from EU countries.

Catering remained the second sector with most foreign contributors in February, having 17.71 percent of the total (8'367), some 7.5 percent more. Of these, 4'852 were from countries outside the EU and 3'515 from EU countries.

Of the total foreign contributors in February, 39'461 come from countries outside the EU, and the number of foreigners from within the EU was 25'948.
In February, Morocco was the country where most of the contributors came from (7'840), pushing the Ecuatorians (leaders in January) into second place with 7'825 contributors, followed by the Germans (7'589), Colombians (4'482), Argentinians (4'095) and the British (4'095).

Throughout Spain the number of foreign contributors rose by 28'958 in February, putting the total number of immigrant contributors at 1.8 million.