This release presents a number of key indicators emerging from the Labour Force Survey, a quarterly enquiry carried out among private households. The indicators presented refer to the period 2017 to 2022 and a comparison with EU 27 levels is given for 2022 data.
The LFS is considered as one of the most important monitoring tools across the European Union for assessing the progress made on employment rates and educational attainment.
Over the last six years, the activity rate for the 15-64 age group rose from 72.2 per cent in 2017 to 80.0 per cent in 2022. Females played an important role in labour market growth, shown by the increase in female activity rate by 12.7 percentage points (Table 1). On the other hand, the contribution of males to the overall increase in activity rate was of 2.8 percentage points between 2017 and 2022.
The highest activity rate was recorded among those aged 25 to 54. On average, out of every 100 males aged between 25 and 54 years, 96 were active. For females in this age group, activity rates registered a substantial increase and in fact, between 2017 and 2022, there was an increase of 11.9 percentage points.
The overall national activity rate (15-64 years) for 2022 was 5.5 percentage points higher than that recorded for EU 27. National activity rates were higher than EU 27 indicators for all age groups except for the 55 to 64 year olds. In spite of the considerable growth observed over the past six years, EU 27 activity rates for the 55 to 64 age group were found to be 10 percentage points higher than national rates.
No Data Found
In 2022, on average, out of every 100 persons aged between 15 and 64 years, almost 78 were employed. During these years, male employment rates increased by an average of 0.8 per cent per year, whereas female rates increased by 2.6 per cent per annum.
For both the EU and Malta, the employment rate for males tends to be higher than the rate for females. At a national level, more males and females tend to be in employment when compared to the EU 27 average. The largest gap was recorded for the 15 to 24 year olds with the national employment rate recorded at 51.9 per cent, as compared with 34.7 per cent for the EU 27. On the other hand, the 55 to 64 age bracket showed that the EU 27 employment rates were 7.8 percentage points higher than national rates. Despite the fact that across all age brackets the employment rate has been increasing, the age structure of those in employment has been experiencing changes over the past years. The younger cohort has had an increase of 4.6 percentage points between 2017 and 2022, whereas among those aged between 55 and 64 the increase over the same period was of 7.3 percentage points. Over the period under review, one can observe the reduction in the employment gender gap. This reduction can be attributed to a number of incentives encouraging females to join or stay in the labour market. In 2022, Malta’s employment gender gap was 2.6 percentage points higher when compared to the EU 27 levels.
The employment rate for the 20 to 64 age group is one of Europe’s leading indicators. National figures indicate that in 2022 the employment rate for Malta stood at 81.1 per cent. Chart 2 shows that the surge in employment rates is mostly attributed to females. Significant growth in employment levels for persons within the older age cohort (55 to 64) also effected the increase in employment rates.
No Data Found
Table 3 reveals that the increase in employment over the past six years was mainly attributed to a growth in the service industry. The share in manufacturing and agriculture activities remained relatively unchanged between 2017 and 2022.
Employment in the services sector has increased during the period under review, starting from 54.8 per cent during 2017 and reaching 63.4 per cent in 2022 (Table 3). The 2022 employment share in services for males stood at 61.7 per cent, 1.2 percentage points higher than the EU 27 average. During the same year, the female employment share in services was 18.9 percentage points lower than the EU 27 average.
In 2022, 15 out of every 100 employed persons were self-employed, 1.2 percentage points higher than EU 27 levels. On average, over the past six years, self-employed males accounted for 19.5 per cent of total employed males. On the other hand, national rates for female self-employment were lower than those recorded at EU 27 level (Table 4).
On average, over the past six years, approximately 12 out of every 100 employees were working on a part-time basis. During 2022, almost a fifth of female employees in Malta had this type of working arrangement, whereas at EU 27 level, a third of all female employees were engaged on a part-time basis. When comparing to EU 27, the national share of part-time workers was 7.4 percentage points lower than EU levels, with a difference of 11.2 percentage points lower for females and 3.1 percentage points less for males (Table 5).
Unemployment rates have been declining steadily over the past years, and by 2022 it decreased to 2.9 per cent (Table 9, Chart 3). In 2022, the male and female unemployment rates stood at 3.1 and 2.6 per cent respectively.
When comparing to EU 27 levels, national rates for 2022 were lower for both sexes and across all age groups. The largest differences between EU 27 levels and national rates were however prevalent in the younger cohort, where the difference was 3.8 percentage points for males and 8.9 percentage points for females (Table 9).
No Data Found
This release provides data on the youth unemployment ratio, which is defined as the number of unemployed persons aged 15 to 24 as a percentage of the total population within the same age bracket (Table 10). For 2022, the youth unemployment ratio stood at 4.7 per cent, which is 1.2 percentage points less than the EU 27 average. Across all the years reviewed, the young male unemployment ratios (15-24) tended to be higher than those recorded for females. This is true for both national as well as EU 27 levels.
The NEET rate indicator, which is the share of young people not in employment, education or training, has gained considerable importance within the local and global scenario since it measures the vulnerability of youths. In 2022, the NEET rate stood at 7.1 per cent; 2.5 percentage points less than the EU 27 average (Chart 4, Table 11). This implies that at a national level, persons aged between 15 and 24 were more likely to be in either employment or education when compared to their EU counterparts.
For 2022, the national long-term unemployment rate, representing the number of persons who have been unemployed for 12 months or more stood at 1.1 per cent, which was 1.3 percentage points less than the EU 27 average for the same period (Table 12).
No Data Found
In 2022, the ELET rate stood at 10.1 per cent, recording a drop of 3.9 percentage points from 2017 levels. This indicator is the rate of early leavers from education and training (ELET). The ELET rate registered a decrease for both males and females at 4.6 and 3.1 percentage points respectively over the last six years (Chart 5, Table 13).
Although Malta’s levels for the early leavers from education and training declined significantly over the years, national values were still higher when compared to European levels. The ELET rate for 2022 was 0.5 percentage points higher than the EU 27 average (Table 13).
At the same time, data for 2022 show that the number of persons aged 20 to 24 years achieving at least an upper secondary level of education was 87.4 per cent, with the national rate being 3.8 percentage points higher than the EU 27 average (Table 14).
No Data Found
The skills level and continuous training of the adult population of working age in the 25 to 64 age bracket is measured through the lifelong learning indicator. As Table 15 illustrates, the rate during 2022 stood at 12.8 per cent, an increase of 2.2 percentage points over 2017 levels. The national percentage of persons aged between 25 and 64 years undertaking lifelong learning was higher than the EU 27 average by 0.9 percentage points.
Another education monitor indicator is the tertiary educational attainment for the 30 to 34 age group (Chart 6). Within this age group, there has been an increasing trend of persons attaining tertiary education for both males and females. Tertiary educational attainment increased by 9.0 percentage points over the past six years. In 2022, tertiary educational attainment stood at 42.5 per cent, almost at par with the EU 27 average.
No Data Found
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is carried out on an ongoing basis using a quarterly gross sample of 3,200 private households. The objective is to have a continuous assessment of labour market trends given that the reference weeks are evenly spread throughout the 13 weeks of the quarter. One-fourth of the sample is made up of households who have been selected to participate in the LFS for the first time. Three-fourths of the quarterly sample is made up of households who were selected to participate in the survey in previous instances, either one quarter before, one year before, or one year and a quarter before (2-(2)-2). Unless otherwise indicated, figures provided in this release refer to persons aged 15 and over and living in private households during the reference period. All criteria used for this survey match international methodologies used by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The LFS is designed to satisfy the concepts and definitions as outlined by Eurostat. This allows the comparability of results with other EU member states and countries following ILO definitions of employment and unemployment. Occupations are classified according to the ISCO-08 classification (International Standard Classification of Occupations) whereas the economic activity is classified according to NACE Rev. 2 (Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés Européennes). Education attainment is classified according to ISCED 2011.
Figures for Malta in this release may vary from those present in Eurostat’s database due to a difference in the calculation of annual estimates. The difference is completely due to rounding of figures and not due to the definitions used to calculate the indicators.
Eurostat figures for EU 27 have been extracted from Eurobase on 22nd May 2023.
Concepts and Definitions
1. Labour force
● Activity rate: the number of persons in the labour force falling within a particular age bracket as a percentage of the working population in the same age bracket (15-24, 25-54, 55-64 and 15-64).
● Activity gender gap: the difference in activity rates between males and females for different age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64 and 15-64).
● Early leavers from education and training rate: the percentage of persons aged 18-24 who achieved secondary education or less (ISCED ≤ 2) and are not pursuing further education or training.
● Lifelong learning rate: the percentage of persons aged 25-64 participating in regular education, or in non-formal training such as courses, seminars and conferences. Students on holiday are considered to be part of the population in lifelong learning.
● Tertiary educational attainment rate: the percentage of persons aged between 30-34 years having achieved at least tertiary level of education (ISCED ≥5).
● Youth educational attainment rate: the percentage of persons aged 20-24 years having achieved at least upper secondary education (ISCED ≥3).
● Employment rate: the number of employed persons falling within a particular age bracket as a percentage of the working population in the same age bracket (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 15-64 and 20-64).
● Employment gender gap: the difference in employment rates between males and females for different age groups (15-24, 25-54, 55-64, 15-64 and 20-64).
● Employment share in services: the number of employed persons (15-64 years) working in the services sector (NACE Rev 2.0 G to U) as a percentage of the working population in the same age group.
● Average weekly number of hours usually worked per week: the sum of hours usually worked by full-time employees divided by the number of full-time employees. The average excludes persons working variable hours.
● Self-employed: this component is made up of persons who are self-employed with or without employees. The rate is worked out as a percentage of the total employment.
● Type of employment: grouped into full-time employment and part-time employment. For the purpose of this release part-time employment is made up of full-time with reduced hours jobs and part-time jobs. The rate is worked out as a percentage of the total employees.
● Fixed-term contracts: refers to all those persons working with a definite contract or on a temporary basis. The rate is worked out as a percentage of the total employees.
● Time-related under-employment: refers to the number of persons having a main job but willing/wishing to work more than the number of hours currently worked in their job. The rate is worked out as a percentage of the total employment.
● Unemployment rate: the number of unemployed persons aged within a particular age bracket as a percentage of the labour force in the same age bracket (15-24, 25-74 and 15-74).
● Youth unemployment ratio: refers to the number of unemployed persons aged 15-24 as a percentage of the total population falling within the same age bracket.
● Not in employment or in education: the number of persons aged 15-24 years not in employment, education or training as a percentage of total persons aged 15-24. This indicator is referred to as the NEET rate.
● Long-term unemployment rate: the number of long-term unemployed (12 months or more) aged 15-74 years as a proportion of the labour force in the same age bracket.
6. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
7. A detailed news release calendar is available online.