Unemployment in the Balearics fell by over 4% in February (compared with January), the number of unemployed registered with the SOIB employment service having decreased by 3,263. This represented the largest fall in percentage terms across the regions of Spain and was ahead of Catalonia with a drop of 1.5%. With this decline, the number of registered unemployed in the Balearics, as of the end of last month, was 71,710. On an annual basis, the reduction in unemployment equates to 10.7% or 8,585 people (compared with February 2015).

Unemployment fell in a total of eleven regions last month - the Canaries was one of the other regions to register a decline - but it rose sufficiently in the other regions to mean that nationwide the unemployment figure rose by 2,231. In Andalusia, there was a significant increase of 16,265 more people unemployed who contributed to the national unemployment figure of 4,152,986 in February.

The rise in national unemployment in February (following an increase in January as well) contrasts with the last two years when there were drops of 1,949 (in 2014) and 13,538 (2015). 2012 was the last year when there had been an increase in unemployment, one of almost 60,000. February, however, is a month which historically shows an uneven trend. Since 1996, unemployment has fallen on eleven occasions and risen on another ten.

Seasonally adjusted, though, the public employment services office says that national unemployment actually fell by almost 22,000.

The sector that registered the highest increase in unemployment was agriculture (over 14,000 more), while services showed the highest decrease (9,750). There were 1,377,480 employment contracts registered in February - a rise of 12% compared with 2015 - and of these 10% were for permanent jobs.