STAFF REPORTER
THE number of foreigners employed in the Balearics fell by 3.4 percent last month in comparison with those in work in the Islands in July 2009, Central Government's Employment ministry reported yesterday.

Whereas there were 91'352 foreigners gainfully employed in the region in July last year, the figure had fallen to 88'196 last month research confirmed.
Of this new, lower total, 65'148 foreigners are classed in a “general workers” category (3.87% less than in 2009); 14'300 are self-employed (down 2.43 percent in comparison with last year); 6'749 have home industries (-2.78%), 1'776 are employed in Agriculture (+2.95%) and 222 have work in the Maritime sector (+12.59%).

Analysing the foreign work force by sector, it was the hostelry industry which employed the majority in July this year. The 28'480 foreigners engaged in hotels, bars, cafeterias and restaurants last month, accounted for 43.72 percent of the “general workers” category. There were 8'150 foreign workers employed in construction (12.51%); 8'019 in Commerce and vehicle repair (12.31% of the total); and 6'091 held administrative and managerial posts (9.35%).

According to nationality, 42'440 foreigners employed in the Balearics in July this year were from other European Union countries and 45'755 from non-member states. Looking just at the European Union member nationalities, the most noticeable groups were the Germans with 10'270 employed in the region last month, followed by the Italians with 7'163 workers in the Balearics, the British (7'047), Romanians (4'195), Bulgarians (2'963), and French (2'349).

Looking at the foreign groups employed in the Balearics last month who were not from European Union countries, the Moroccans were the largest with 6'740 in work followed by Ecuadorians (6'434), Colombians (5'057), Argentinians (5'013), Bolivians (2'470) and Chinese (2'292) amongst others.

With the economic crisis having meant job losses in almost all sectors of industry in the Balearics, particularly in construction, the regional government has made it plain that it currently does not make sense for more immigrants to come to the Islands in search of work seeing as there are so many unemployed already registered here.

Aware of the financial difficulties of some less privileged groups of immigrant workers including those from South America, the government has organised a “return home” scheme for those who wish to go back to their country of origin but have not the financial means to get there. The programme is being organised through the Unemployment Benefit Office and the Red Cross.

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