Employment minister Iago Negueruela.

05-05-2020Aina Ginard

Unemployment in the Balearics in April stood at 72,542, a rise of 27,812 and a 62% increase compared with April 2019, when there were 44,730 unemployed. The increase in the Balearics was the highest in Spain. Andalusia, with 25.5%, had the second highest increase. Compared with March, the increase in the Balearics was 15.5% - 9.773 more people unemployed.

As far as hiring was concerned, there was an 84.4% drop in the number of employment contracts registered with social security - 47,052 fewer contracts than April last year.

At the end of last month, 141,614 workers in the Balearics were covered by ERTE. Of these, 135,885 were under the terms of ERTE for force majeure; 5,729 for productive reasons.

Nationally, there was an eight per cent increase in unemployment - 282,891 more unemployed. According to the current historical series, this was a record increase for an April and took the national unemployed total to 3,831,203.

Regional employment minister Iago Negueruela said on Tuesday that if there hadn't been ERTE protection, the unemployment figure (compared with last April) would have gone up some 280% and affected around 200,000 people. "We are beginning to see the magnitude of the situation we are facing." ERTE due to force majeure, he noted, allows workers, including those with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts who had not been called back, to receive unemployment benefit even if they have not reached the minimum contribution period.

Commenting on the fact that in April there was an 8.7% decrease in the number of people registering with social security, the minister stressed that this would have been 37% if the extraordinary protection mechanism had not been enabled. He emphasised the "urgent need" to maintain ERTE under the same conditions for the tourism and services sector, which will be bearing the brunt of the crisis.

* Note that the figures here are the national ministry of employment and social security's monthly figures. They do differ in terms of classification to the figures produced by the National Statistics Institute for the Labour Force Survey, the latest quarterly report for which was published last week.

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