There is further evidence of a slowdown in the Balearic economy with the announcement yesterday that unemployment in the month of November rose by a record 62 percent. Presently there are 30'288 people out of work in the Balearics or almost nine percent of the working population. Compared to November 1999 the unemployment rate was much higher in November 2000 with an additional 1'220 people joining the dole queues. Almost 60 percent of the unemployed are women with 18'835 looking for work compared to 11'453 men. Compared to November 1999 unemployment amongst women rose by 1'087 and amongst men by 133. The service sectors, which includes hotels, are the industries which have been hit the worst by unemployment with 11'293 jobs being lost. It must be taken into account that many island hotels closed at the end of October. This is the breakdown of the other sectors; industry 104 jobs were lost, construction 80 new jobs were created and agriculture, two new jobs were created. The jobless rate amongst the under 25s increased by 2'751 (843 men and 1'908 women). Yesterday's figures will make bad reading for the local government who have already announced that economic growth will fall next year for the first time in a decade. Other surveys indicated that many people are finding it harder than ever to get to the end of the month with rising mortgage rates and fuel costs biting into their wages which are some of the lowest in Spain.

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