From laggard to leader

According to Eurostat, the employment rate in Malta has exceeded that of Germany for the first time.

A report published on Eurostat’s website reveals that Malta’s employment rate last year reached 81.7%. This means that, for the first time in history, Malta had a better employment rate than Germany, a country revered as the economic engine of Europe.

Before 2013, while Germany had an employment rate of 76.9%, Malta’s rate was just 63.9% – the rate in Germany was almost a quarter higher than Malta’s. Thanks to the reforms undertaken since then, such as free childcare and benefit tapering, Malta has managed to reach, and now even surpass, Germany’s employment rate.

In 2012 there were only six countries in the EU with a worse employment rate than Malta and 20 countries with a higher rate. Last year the employment rate was better than Malta’s in only three countries, while 23 countries have a worse rate. Now, the gap between Malta and the country with the best employment rate is only 1.8 percentage points, against the 15.5 percentage points gap in 2012.

From a situation where the employment sector in Malya was among the worst in Europe, by the end of 2015 the country was already reaching the European average.  The trend in this area was further strengthened in every year, so that Malta was one of the few countries (the other two exceptions were Poland and Croatia) where there was an increase even in 2020, at the height of the pandemic.

In view of the fact that the Maltese economy is expected to be the fastest growing in Europe in the next two years, it is expected that Malta’s progress will continue, and it is likely that the country will soon become the European country with the highest employment rate.

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