Lowest unemployment rate in the EU

In January the unemployment rate in Malta was 2.6%, or 0.4% lower than a year earlier.

Once again Eurostat figures indicate that Malta has the lowest unemployment rate among EU countries (1). January was the sixth month in a row that this was the case. In January the unemployment rate in Malta was 2.6%, or 0.4% lower than a year earlier. 

In the EU unemployment now stands at 6.0%, against 6.1% a year earlier, while in the euro area the rate is 6.5%, versus 6.6% a year earlier. Thus, unemployment across the EU is more than double what is observed in Malta. The highest unemployment rate is 11.7% in Spain, four and a half times the rate in Malta.

When it comes to youths, the unemployment rate in Malta is 7.8%, against a euro area average of 14.9%. The highest youth unemployment rate is 29% in Spain while the lowest is 5.7% in Germany. Malta has the second lowest youth unemployment rate among EU countries.

It is worth recalling that in December 2009, at the height of the recession, Malta had an unemployment rate of 7.3%, or almost three times the current rate, while youth unemployment was 16%, also more than double the current rate.

According to Jobsplus, last January there were 1,057 people registering for employment (2). Compared to a year ago, there was a decrease of 15 people on the register. This was mainly due to a decline among jobseekers under the age of 30, although unemployment also fell among those aged 45 and over.

201 people have 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, or fourteen times the number last January.

In January 2023 in Malta those registering were eight times lower than March 2013. Compared to January 2020, there are now almost 40% fewer people registering for work, a decrease of one person every two days.

The number of Gozitans registering for work decreased to 76 in January from 742 at the end of the previous Government in 2013 (a decrease of 90%). Unemployment in Gozo has thus fallen at a much faster rate than in Malta.

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