An earlier start to the season will mean more jobs. | R.L.


Registered unemployment in the Balearics fell in January to 74,973 compared with January 2015, a drop of close to 10% represented by 8,093 fewer unemployed. Data from the national ministry for employment and social security showed today  that the number unemployed in January was over 1% lower than in December, with 811 leaving the unemployment register.
By sector, services contributed the greatest number of unemployed (59,846), followed by construction with 7,485, industry (3,175) and agriculture (1,377).

During the course of January, 24,676 employment contracts were registered, an increase of 4% over last year and more than 5% up compared with January 2014. Of these contracts, 21,173 were temporary, a rise of 3%, while 3,503 permanent posts represented 341 more jobs, a rise of more than 10% over last year. The number on benefits in the Balearics in January was 86,016, which equated to a cost of 86.1 million euros and an average monthly payment of 946 euros.

In the country as a whole, registered unemployment fell by 374,936, compared with January 2015, the largest annual drop in the current series of historical data (since 1999). The ministry points out that in the previous eight years, unemployment in January had risen on average by almost 136,000.

The greatest increase in national unemployment - compared with December 2015 - was experienced by workers in the service sector (over 67,000). There was a reduction of over 4,800 in construction and one of ten per cent of this amount in industry.
The drop in Balearic unemployment in January (compared with December) was not as great as in the Canaries. There was a decrease in those islands of 1,545. In mostly all other regions of Spain, unemployment increased, with the highest rise over December having been in Andalusia (over 9,000 more unemployed).

But jobless claims in Spain rose less than anticipated in January, in what is typically a challenging month for employment as temporary and seasonal staff are laid off. Unemployment typically rises in January as temporary workers employed over Christmas are laid off and sectors like tourism shed staff during the winter months. Even so, today’s data showed a smaller jump in unemployment compared with the same month a year ago, signalling a recovering jobs market, albeit slowly.

On an annual basis, unemployment dropped by 678,200 people in 2015, the biggest decline since records began as the economy expanded 3.2 per cent, the fastest pace since the crisis started.