The number of employers topped the 18,000 mark in 2021, as the number of active businesses, including self-employed, came close to 56,000, spurred by a large increase in micro enterprises, although medium-sized enterprises registered a slight decrease.
The latest figures from the National Statistics Office show that there were 55,950 active business units in Malta, an increase of 8.6 per cent, or 4,430 units, over 2020.
The largest increase in the number of active business units was observed in the transportation and storage sector, followed by the professional, scientific and technical activities and construction.
Wholesale, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles sector accounted for 18.1 per cent of the active business units. Professional, scientific and technical activities meanwhile accounted for 13.4 per cent, whilst construction accounted for 9.7 per cent.
In 2021, 69.6 per cent of the active business units were sole proprietors and partnerships, 28.1 per cent were limited liability companies or public limited liability companies (plc), while 2.3 per cent were non-profit organisations, cooperatives, corporations, branches or joint ventures.
An analysis of the distribution of differently sized companies by economic sector, conducted by BusinessNow.mt last year, still stands, and can be accessed here.
Somewhat surprisingly, the number of new registrations within the active business population decreased by 36 per cent while deregistrations increased by 26.0 per cent over 2020. Although 2021 was less hard hit by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be that businesses were forced to reconsider their continued sustainability in view of changing economic conditions.
Compared to the situation a year earlier, micro business units employing between 0 and 9 persons increased by nine per cent, while small business units employing between 10 and 49 persons, increased by 2.8 per cent. Medium-sized business units employing between 50 and 249 persons on the other hand decreased by 2.2 per cent.
In total, there were 18,227 employers in Malta in 2021, an increase of 8.5 per cent over the previous year.
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