Many summer jobs are filled by workers from Andalusia and Catalonia.

25-08-2013Teresa Ayuga

Over the past six years there has been a doubling in the number of workers from other regions of Spain who have come to the Balearics for work. In 2017 there were 7,972, almost twice as many (4,063) as in 2011 when recession was at its deepest. There was a 17.5% increase in 2017, above a national average of 11%. This suggested that the Balearics region was a leader in economic and labour recovery.

The movement of workers to the islands is nothing new. In 2007, there were more (9,154) than last year. It was in fact something that happened way back in the 1960s when the Balearics led the tourism boom. Ever since then, Andalusia and Catalonia have been the main providers of workers.

At the same time, there has been movement the other way. The numbers have been lower. Last year there were 4,094, but in certain years the figures were much closer. In 2008, for instance, 8,152 workers came to the Balearics while 7,805 went to the mainland.

This does point to a consistent dynamism in the Balearic labour market, though the work is of course seasonal and determined by the tourism industry. There are jobs to be found, and even when Balearic unemployment rose to around 100,000 during the recession, the job opportunities were greater than in other parts of Spain.

This dynamism is, however, based on employment that doesn't demand high qualifications. Pay is correspondingly low.