December 2021: A new record low unemployment

Last December there were only 1,167 people registering for employment. This was the lowest number of people on the register since records began to be kept in the mid- 1960s.

Compared to a year ago there was a decrease of 1,598 persons looking for a job, meaning that in a pandemic year the number of those registering fell by almost two-thirds. The biggest decline was in job seekers over the age of 45, with a decrease of 644 persons.

There was also a sharp decline among 30 to 45-year-olds, with those registering decreasing by 565 compared to a year before. Among those under 30 in 2021 there was a decrease of 389 persons.

Before the pandemic started the lowest level of people registering was in June 2019. At the time there were 1,616 people registering, or 449 more than the new minimum achieved last December.

Despite the forecast made when the pandemic broke out that there would be more than 50,000 unemployed people, the most unemployment rose was in May 2020 when the number of people registering had risen to 4,409. This contrasted to almost 8,000 who were jobless after the 2008 economic crisis.

On average every day from the beginning of June 2020 until the end of last December six people who were on the register found employment. In about thirteen months the number of unemployed people had fallen to its pre-pandemic level, and then month after month it fell to new historical minimums.

On average every day from June 2020 until the end of December six people who were on the register found employment.

This was the fastest decline in unemployment ever. Reversing the country ‘s post-recession unemployment in 2008 had taken 72 months, or five times longer. Moreover, the strength of the economic recovery is being felt even more in Gozo. At the end of 2021 there were 108 registering for work in Gozo. This when in March 2013 there were 742 Gozitan jobseekers, or seven times the amount there is at present. In Malta those registering in 2013 were six times the current amount.

The fall in unemployment started following the announcement of the economic regeneration plan in early June 2020. That plan was a game changer – with measures that gave new confidence to Maltese and Gozitan consumers such as the voucher scheme and the reduction in stamp duty. At the same time Government had introduced several measures to help businesses.

After that plan, the 2021 Budget had given yet another stimulus. The implementation of Budget 2022 is expected to reduce unemployment even further.

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