Iago Negueruela, Minister for employment. | ARCHIVO

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In August this year there were 93,791 employees with "fijo discontinuo" contracts, the highest number ever and five per cent more than in August 2018.

The figure for the number of people with these contracts registered with social security suggests that there has been an improvement in the quality of employment, one of the Balearic government's fixations. However, the main unions believe that there is plenty of scope for this quality to improve further.

While the CCOO and UGT unions view the increase in fijo discontinuo contracts positively, they consistently react to the publication of employment statistics by advocating the need for stronger commitment to more stable employment.

The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations is likewise pleased at the increase, but it says that the current phase of employment "maturity" is the time to be introducing more structure into the labour market.

The employment minister, Iago Negueruela, points to the fact that fijo discontinuo employment was this summer the highest - in percentage terms - in the country. Nevertheless, he considers this percentage, around 17% of the active labour force, to still be too low.

A further positive aspect of fijo discontinuo is that there are more employees with this type of contract actively working in the low season. The figures for January and February this year were both up, albeit by small amounts. In April, the number went up to 73,407, and this 3,668 more than in April 2018. It might be noted, however, that there was a fall in March of more than 3,000. Easter having been in April will have been a key factor in explaining this.

Going back a few years, in August 2014 the number was 66,096, so the summer peak for fijo discontinuo employment has risen by over 40% in six years.