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The growth in employment seen in the private sector and among women outstrips the total increase in gainfully occupied persons seen since 2013, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).

In a release on registered employment, the NSO notes that the total number of gainfully occupied workers between 2013 and 2020 grew from 158,694 to 232,396, or by 46 per cent.

Over these years, growth in employment in the private sector has by far outstripped that in the public sector, with the number of workers in the former increasing by 56 per cent as compared to 19 per cent in the latter.

Average annual full-time employment by sector, sex, and employment status (NSO 160/2021)

However, these figures need to be seen in light of initiatives like the Community Work Scheme, where over 1,000 employees are nominally employed through a private entity but continue to be paid through the public purse, a situation that has come under fire by employers as the shortage in the labour supply reaches crisis levels.

Government’s efforts to increase the participation of women in the labour market, particularly through the provision of free childcare services, have been rewarded, with the number of females in the workforce jumping from 56,115 in 2013 to 90,748 in 2020. This jump of over 61 per cent is far higher than the increase in male employment of 38 per cent.

This means that, while in 2013 women only made up 35.4 per cent of the gainfully occupied workforce, in 2020 they made up over 39 per cent.

The Ministry for Finance has indicated that further efforts will be made to increase women’s participation in the labour force.

When seen in proportional terms, the increase in employment was quite evenly split between Malta and Gozo, which registered increases in workers of 46.5 per cent and 44.9 per cent respectively.

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