The number of foreigners employed in the construction industry has declined. | Marta Martin


Over the past three years, record numbers of foreign workers have been employed in the Balearics. Specific to this year, figures from the national ministry of employment show that between January and July there were 103,212 employment contracts for foreign workers. Of these, 46,318 were from the EU.

Over 80% of these contracts were temporary, an arrangement that applies across the board in the labour market and certainly not just to foreign workers.

Seasonality is the obvious reason for the high level of temporary working, but this does bring with it the potential for contractual abuse.

Inspection campaigns by the Balearics employment ministry have addressed labour precariousness in the form of temporary contract fraud.

There has been an improvement in the employment status of foreign workers, which appears to be as a result of these campaigns. This year, 18% of foreign workers are on permanent contracts. Twelve years ago and so before the financial crisis, this figure was just 10.7%.

Over these years there has been a notable change in employment sector. The majority of foreign workers are now in the services sector, while the number employed in the construction industry has declined. Compared with 2007 there are 10,000 fewer.