By end May 2021, the number of those working full-time in Malta had reached a record 237,375, while that of those working part-time was up to 65,835.
Before Robert Abela became Prime Minister the number of people in full time employment was 229,321, while 61,702 were employed part-time.
In seventeen months, despite the pandemic, full-time jobs increased by 8,054 while the number of part-time jobs went up by 2,231. That is nearly 10,300 additional jobs, or approximately 20 new jobs per day.
This is two and a half times the rate of job creation observed throughout the three Conservative legislatures that preceded the March 2013 general election result.
The top five job-creating sectors during Robert Abela’s administration were health and social work, construction, professional services, remote gaming and information and communication, and financial services.
These accounted for three quarters of the rise in employment. By contrast during the same period, the only sector to shed workers was the accommodation and food services sector, where employment was down by over 2,100.
Fact-checking the Opposition’s ‘public service’ jobs narrative
The Opposition’s argument that Malta’s job market is being kept afloat because Government is employing thousands of unnecessary workers is contradicted by official data.
In May 2021 the share of full-time employment in the public sector out of total full-time employment was just 21.5%, as against 26.6% in March 2013. Of the increase in public sector jobs under Robert Abela’s tenure, 70% are in health and education.
Every day since becoming Prime Minister, Robert Abela has presided over an increase of 2 public health sector full-timers and an increase of one public education full-timer. This investment in public health and education is unprecedented in our nation’s history.
Figures show that the reality is diametrically opposite to that portrayed by the Opposition. Under the conditions of a pandemic which was supposed to result in over 50,000 unemployed, Robert Abela’s administration instead delivered an increase of 20 jobs per day.
Gozo is a prime example. In December 2019 there were 13,458 Gozitans working full-time, and 5,204 working part-time. By May 2021 there were 14,380 working full-time and 5,583 working part-time. An increase of 1,328, or nearly 3 Gozitans more in employment per day.
How many of these were in public administration, one might ask? 79.
By contrast, the five sectors of health, construction, professional services, remote gaming and information and communication, and financial services created nearly 600 new jobs in Gozo. Thanks to specific targeted measures, sectors that in Malta suffered during the pandemic, such as administrative services and accommodation and food services, instead continued to expand in Gozo, creating another 350 jobs.
A similar scenario in industry. Many expected Malta’s manufacturing industry to suffer a great reverse – firstly due to the pandemic and secondly because of the reduction in foreign demand which would follow the economic turmoil abroad. Instead, full-time and part-time employment in industry rose by over 500 or nearly an additional person perday.
The post-2013 Labour administration had showed that progressive economic policy can work wonders to turn around a stagnant economy. Robert Abela’s economic management has further cemented Labour’s economic competence. His progressive approach to tackling the economic shock of the pandemic turned this challenge into an opportunity to build a new prosperity. Instead of tens of thousands of unemployed persons, we now have ten thousand more persons creating value.
If this progressive approach created so much prosperity during a pandemic, imagine what it will be able to deliver in better times.