Construction is one sector with a high dependence on foreign labour. | Juanjo Roig


In April, some twenty per cent of workers registered with social security in the Balearics were foreigners. Of 518,282 people signed on with social security (a record number for April), 101,793 were foreign nationals. The Balearics had the highest percentage of foreign workers in the country - 19.6%; the national average was 11.7%. Most were working in construction and hospitality, two sectors with a high demand for personnel but which have been experiencing difficulties in employing locally.

The April percentage of foreign workers was up on 18.4% in March, while with comparison with 2021, there was a 34% increase. Italians, Germans and Moroccans were the most numerous. In hospitality, there were over 30,000, while in construction there were around 17,500.

Alfonso Robledo, the president of the CAEB Restaurants Association, says that it is more and more common for non-Spaniards to be employed as waiters and chefs. "This has been happening for a long time." He is not surprised that Italy supplies more foreign workers than any other country, pointing to the number of Italian restaurants that have been opening. In addition, there is the fact that the pandemic has changed attitudes among local workers, who are more reluctant to work in hospitality.