A historic low

December 2023 was the first December with less than 1,000 persons registering for work – Malta had the lowest unemployment rate among all EU Member States.

Last December, there were only 955 people registering for employment. This was the first December in history in which there were fewer than a thousand people on the unemployment register.

Before 2013, the average number of people registering in the month of December was around 6,600 but between 2013 and 2019 the average number of people registering in December fell to 3,827.

In December 2019 there were 1,642 people registering. Since then, the number of those registering fell by 687; every two days one more person no longer needed to register. In contrast, prior to 2013, every two days the number of those registering rose by one.

In December 2023 those registering for work in Malta were eight times less in number than they were in March 2013. The decrease in Gozo was sharper, as the number of Gozitans registering decreased to 63 last December from 742 in March 2013. At that moment in time, there were twelve times more Gozitans on the register than there are currently.

Compared to a year ago, the reduction of 91 persons from the unemployment register was mainly due to a decline among jobseekers under the age of 30, although unemployment fell in every age category. There were only 199 people who had been registering for over a year. In March 2013 there were almost 2,800 people who had been out of work for more than a year. This confirms how successful the fight against unemployment has been, both because the economy has generated a lot of jobs but also because of the introduction of various make-work-pay schemes, such as the tapering of social benefits. These created strong incentives for people who were registering for work to enter employment.

Statistics released by te EU’s statistics office, Eurostat, also confirm that Malta’s unemployment rate was 2.4% in December. Apart from this being a record for our country, it was also an international record because our country was the one with the lowest unemployment rate among all the countries of the European Union. Once again this is a record that was first achieved since Dr Robert Abela became Prime Minister. This record is predicted to persist even in the years to come, as international institutions such as the IMF are predicting that our country will remain with one with the lowest unemployment among all European countries. 

Number of people registering for work in Malta

December 2023955
December 20221,046
December 20211,167
December 20202,765
December 20191,642
Average December 2013-20193,827
Average December 1965-20136,600
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