Seasonal workers from the mainland were unable to come in 2020. | Daniel Espinosa


According to Tax Agency figures, more workers from Spain came to work in the Balearics in 2019 than in any year since 2007. In 2019, 9,034 salaried workers came to the islands, nine per cent more than in 2018 (8,290). In 2007, before the financial crisis, the number was 9,154.

The effect of the financial crisis is reflected in the numbers between 2009 and 2014. In 2009 there were 6,480, a decrease of 2,674 compared with 2007. In 2014 the figure was 4,647, the lowest number (4,063) having been in 2011. A recovery really started in 2015 (5,689), followed by 6,783 in 2016 and 7,972 in 2017.

Tourism explains these figures. The workers from Spain come for the season, and in 2019 the level of employment at the height of summer was the highest it had ever been - 534,864 people were signed on as employed.

Andalusia, as has traditionally been the case, provided more Spanish workers in 2019 than any other region - 2,400. From Catalonia came 1,574 and from Madrid 1,563. La Rioja, with 29, provided the fewest.

The movement of workers also operates in the opposite direction. In this respect, the Balearics had the third highest positive balance among the regions after Madrid and Catalonia. While 9,034 workers arrived, 5,148 left for other parts of Spain. Of these, 1,299 went to Catalonia, 809 to Madrid and 725 to Valencia.

During the years of the financial crisis, the balance was far lower. In 2010, when 4,453 workers came to the Balearics, 3,892 left to get work elsewhere in Spain. The 2019 balance of plus 3,886 was very similar to that of 2018 (plus 3,891) and of 2017 (plus 3,878). But 2020 will show a very different picture.