THE number of people employed in bars, restaurants and hotels in the Balearics last month was 68'521, a drop of 1.3 per cent compared to the same month last year, when Easter fell in April (this year it fell in March). According to figures released by the tourism ministry, based on the social security register, hotels and restaurants had 52'205 workers contracted, 2.3 per cent more than the same month last year. As to the first two months of the year, in January, the number of jobs rose by 1.1 per cent, but fell by one per cent in February.
The ministry's report makes a distiction between employees and the self employed, which in April represented 82.7 and 17.3 per cent of the total respectively. During that same period, hotel workers represented 53.2 per cent of the total, while the remainder worked in the bar and restaurant sector.
The month on month differences attributed to the difference in date of Easter when taken as a whole, do not correspond with the difference if restaurants and hotels are considered separately. In hostelry, for example, jobs dropped by 0.2 per cent in January, 3.4 per cent in February, 0.9 per cent in March and 2..7 per cent in April.
In the restaurant sector, however, jobs increased each month, by 1.9 per cent in January, 0.9 per cent in February, 5.4 per cent in March and 0.2 per cent in April, the report said. The summer season is now in full swing, with most beaches packed to capacity with sun worshippers.
The beaches are even more crowded at weekends, when tourists are joined by residents who are at work during the week.