The number of people out of work in the Balearics rose by 1'112 in September compared to August, bringing the total number of jobless up to 20'064 or 4.91 per cent of the work force, the lowest in Spain. But, the figures show that the number of people out of work is 2.5 per cent more than the same month last year, an indication of how badly the tourist season has gone. Unemployment figures are influenced by the tourist season and usually rise sharply in October. And it is in the service sector, which includes tourism, that te biggest job losses were found figures were up by 1'378 persons, nearly 11 per cent. On the other hand, unemployment in the construction sector dropped by nearly 10 per cent (341 persons). People seeking their first job are finding it harder, and 23 joined the ranks of the unemployed (three per cent). The number of men out of work at the end of September was 9'402, two per cent more than August, and the number of women out of work rose by nearly nine per cent to 10'662. But Pere Mascaró, the director of the employment exchange, said that the figures only gave a partial view of the Balearic labour market. He claimed that the increase in unemployment in September corresponded to the end of the tourist season and did not represent a substantial change compared to earlier seasons. But according to economist Vicenç Tur, since April, unemployement has been increasing 20 per cent over last year, which he attributes to a slow down of the economy. José Benedicto of the Workers Commissions union described the rise in unemployment as “bad news” and attributed it to a slowing down of the economy and the early closing of many hotels.

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