Slight drop in registered unemployed in June

The number of people registering for work decreased slightly in June, after three months in which their number had more than doubled.

National Statistics Office figures show that the number of registered unemployed in June stood at 4,270, down from 4,409 in May.

The number had been just 1,659 in February, but increased sharply as the Covid-19 pandemic reached Malta in March. After reaching 2,125 in March, the number of registered unemployed increased to 3,979 in April before peaking in May.

As can be surmised given the circumstances, the majority of those registered unemployed (3,243) have been registering for work for less than 21 weeks. A further 428 have been registering for 21-52 weeks, while 599 have been on the register for more than a year.

The unemployment register comprises 2,581 men and 1,689 women, of which 190 are under 20, 482 are aged between 20-24, 549 between 25-29, 1,454 between 30-44 and the remaining 1,595 aged 45 and over.

The register includes 3,905 people who are registered under Part I, comprising new job seekers who have left school, re-entrants into the labour market and individuals made redundant. Only those on Part I of the register are eligible for unemployment benefits. The remaining 365 are on Part II, having been dismissed from work due to disciplinary action, left of their own free will, refused work or training opportunities or were struck off the register after an inspection.

Government claims credit

The government was click to claim success in the struggle against unemployment, highlighting that 139 fewer people were registering for work in June.

In a statement issued through the Department of Information, the government emphasised that even the present rate was far lower than it had been prior to the 2013 general election, when 7,350 people were on the register. The number, it added, peaked at close to 8,000 during the global economic crisis in 2009.

Interpreting the figures, the government linked the reduction in registered unemployed to its economic regeneration plan, stating that it was giving confidence to local consumers. After highlighting some of the measures announced, it said that “in contrast to countries, all this has led our country to register its first success in the fight against unemployment in June,” committing itself to reduce the rate further in the future.