THE district of Marina Baixa closed last year 2011 with about 18,000 unemployed.
This is 866 more than at the end of 2010, and a loss of nearly ten thousand jobs since 2007, when the crisis began.
The stated recovery in the tourism sector of the city, with 80 percent average occupancy during the year, and the same results as in previous years to the economic recession, did not stop in the Marina Baixa, and above all in Benidorm, from continuing to bleed jobs.
This was revealed in a report by local Spanish daily Informacion.
In fact, according to recent data published, twenty-two residents of the region have lost their jobs each day during the month of December.
Critics say hotel occupancy is a false disingenuous guide to overall economic wellbeing.
Oft quoted by the Costa Blanca Hoteliers Association, HOSBEC, it means nothing when taken in isolation except to indicate their own occupancy rates, which even for the hotels may be a meaningless statistic, if as reported by EWN last week they (according to the Benidorm based hotel chain, Servi Group) the hotels are offering rates below cost.
Money does not flow into the surrounding economy, where guests are captives in an all inclusive package. Local traders ask ‘why spend money in surrounding bars and restaurants, when they’ve already paid for it in their chosen hotels?’
Another reason may be the closing of hotels in the low season, something unheard of on the Costa Blanca until recently.
In fact, in the last four months, since the end of the season, 3,215 jobs have gone in the region, wiping out the drop in unemployment that had was proclaimed in April.
Unions have warned that high rates of delinquency in the public coffers of many municipalities in the region are endangering not only basic public services (in Benidorm 50 aid workers have not been paid for three months), but also “jobs and the viability of companies” working for these municipalities, and both dealers and suppliers say the unions.
Therefore, unions have urged that municipalities take urgent action to lower debt. Salvador Roig. Foci, union spokesman, said in respect of increased unemployment, that only Callosa d’en Sarria and Relleu were unique in having slightly lowered unemployment during December, fourteen fewer unemployed in Callosa : 612 , and two less in Relleu : 80 . In contrast, Benidorm, the municipality with the highest number of inhabitants, has also experienced the greatest increase, with 396 newly unemployed people, to now stand at stand 7,041.
Villajoyosa lost 123 jobs and unemployment rose to 4,205, followed by Altea, with 56 more unemployed; now at 2,028, and L’Alfas del Pi, with 32 affected, bringing their total to 1,238.
By Paul Deed