A complete turnaround

While there are currently 7 job opportunities for each person registering for work, in 2013 there were 7 people seeking employment for every opportunity that needed to be filled.

Activity in the Maltese labour market remains very strong, with the number of jobs soaring to a new record level. At the same time, the number of job vacancies has also now reached a new record high. While, in June, employers were looking to fill an additional 7,051 jobs, in the following three months job vacancies increased to 7,817. This happened at a time when there were barely a thousand people registering for work.

In contrast, a decade ago there were 7,350 persons looking for work and less than a thousand job vacancies to be filled. This means that, while there are currently seven job opportunities for each person registering for work, in 2013 there were seven people seeking employment for every opportunity that needed to be filled: the exact opposite.

Statistics released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) indicate that in July 2023 the number of people working full-time rose to almost 273,100. This means that since March 2013 there has been an increase of almost 117,000 full-time jobs. In addition, there was an increase of about 30,000 part-time jobs during the same period. Since 2013, 39 jobs have been added every day, four times the job creation rate observed before then. Since January 2020 Malta has seen an increase of 58,200 workers, which is almost 40% of all jobs created from 2013 onwards.

In July 2023 the number of full-time jobs was almost 19,100 higher than a year earlier. Of these additional jobs, only 82 were with the public sector. There was an increase of around 19,000 jobs with the private sector. Almost 1,200 were an addition to the construction sector, 2,400 to the wholesale and retail workforce, 1,800 more transport workers, 3,100 more employees in hotels and restaurants, 1,300 additional manufacturing workers, 450 more full-timers in remote gaming, an increase of 750 in financial services, 1,800 more persons in the professional services sector, and 3,300 additional workers in administrative services. In the information and communication field there was a growth of 800 employees, while there was an expansion of around 1,200 employees in private health services and education.

In total, there was an increase of 8,050 self-employed in the twelve months leading to July 2023. Part-time work increased by about 4,600 on a year earlier. In Gozo, there was an increase of 669 full-time jobs and 385 part-time jobs.

Statistics issued by the EU’s statistical office, Eurostat, indicate that despite the increase in employment, in the third quarter of 2023 Maltese employers still had a job vacancy rate of 2.9%, which means that they could boost employment by another 2.9% if they found adequate candidates. This rate is slightly higher than that observed a year ago (2.8%), as well as that seen in the previous quarter (2.7%). In the EU employers have a vacancy rate of 2.6%, that is lower than in Malta.

According to Eurostat, in Malta operators in manufacturing and construction are looking to increase employment by 3.3%, more than the 2.6% observed previously. At the same time, operators in services in Malta have vacancies equivalent to 3.3% of the workforce they need, compared to 3.1% in the previous quarter.

This indicates how many career opportunities already exist for workers in Malta, far more than there are Maltese workers available to fill them.

Read more: Debunking the cheap labour narrative

Photo: Sora Shimazaki

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