Unemployment is continuing to rise faster than in the rest of Spain in the Balearics. Last month, unemployment went up by 26 per cent, compared to September, with 5.297 people signing on at the unemployment office taking the jobless total to 25.361, just over six per cent of the active population. The national unemployment rate for October was 3.23 per cent. However, the per cent of the active population out of work is one of the lowest in Spain, two per cent below the national average of 8.99 per cent. Compared to October last year, the number of jobless rose by 4.477 last month. The bulk of the jobs lost have been in the service sector with the season coming to an end and more hotels and businesses closing for the winter. Unemployment in the service sector shot up by nearly 36 per cent with 5.128 people laid off while the beleaguered farming sector also suffered. Unemployment in the industrial sector dropped slightly, but despite complaints from the construction industry, 79 new jobs were created. Yesterday there were long queues at local unemployment and benefit offices with most people resigned to the fact there will be few employment opportunities available until next spring. The continued rise in unemployment has angered the union leaders who yesterday blamed it on poor central government policy.

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