According to the National Statistics Office, at the end of September there were more than 300,000 persons in employment. This was the first time in the history of our country that those working exceeded 300,000.
Moreover, this was just eight years after, for the first time, the number of those in employment exceeded 200,000, in September 2015. This means that, in less than eight years, despite the effects of a pandemic and an energy price crisis, the number of people working increased by 50%.
According to the Labour Force Survey, in the third quarter of 2023 our country had an employment rate of 81%. This is the highest rate ever recorded and constitutes an increase of more than three percentage points compared to a year ago.
As a result, the employment rate in Malta continued to be higher than that in the EU. Before the change of Government in 2013 there had been a gap of almost 5 percentage points between the EU and Malta, a gap that experts had predicted would remain for several decades. Instead, this deficit has not just been surmounted, but now Malta’s employment rate is 10 percentage points higher than the EU average.
In the third quarter of 2023, employment in Malta was nearly 17,000 more than a year earlier and the number of persons working was almost double that of 2012. This increase was almost all in full-time jobs. Among the most that benefited from the increase in employment were women. While, before 2013, 44% of women were in employment, this proportion has now risen to 73%.
With the increase in employment, the unemployment rate fell to 2.5% in the third quarter of 2023, down from the 2.9% it was a year earlier. Compared to the same time in 2012, the rate is less than half, because at that time the unemployment rate was over 6%.
The Labour Force Survey also indicates that, in the third quarter of 2023, wages were 3.7% higher than a year earlier. In contrast, in 2012, the average wage had risen by only 1.9%, or nearly by half.
According to the same survey, the average wage in September 2023 was €21,945, when in March 2013 it was €15,923. Official statistics show an improvement of €6,022, or 38% over a ten-year increase in the average basic wage, debunking claims of a pay squeeze and that cheap labour is dominant in the country.