Iago Negueruela, the employment minister, reporting on the unemployment figures on Tuesday. | Govern de les Illes Balears

Iago Negueruela, the Balearic minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, said on Tuesday that the Balearics had reached "the maximum unemployment ceiling in February" and that the recovery "will begin from now on".

The minister suggested that the fall in unemployment in March points to there being "hope for recovery". "We are beginning to lower the unemployment figures, and the drop compared to February marks the beginning of the recovery process. The trend will most likely continue over the next few months."

The recovery, Negueruela recognised, will depend on "the evolution of the pandemic", but emphasised that the peak in unemployment had been reached. As well as the fall in unemployment compared to February, he noted that social security registrations for work were up by 6,263 - an increase of 1.5% and above the national average of 0.4%. Similarly, he drew attention to the reduction in the number of employees on ERTE furlough terms - 4,864 fewer.

The minister acknowledged that despite the March fall in unemployment, the figures are still "very tough". "The Balearics have a very worrying year-on-year unemployment rate. We will have to see how it evolves."

There were 1,593 fewer unemployed in March, a fall of 1.88% compared to February. The year-on-year figure, compared to March 2020, was an increase in unemployment of 20,219 (a rise of 32.2%).