Registered unemployment has been on the decline for 2 consecutive months. In view of this, Kurt Muscat, Senior - Executive Advisory Services at EMCS states, “government’s efforts to reduce unemployment seem to be having a positive effect, however, this is not occurring evenly between all age groups. Furthermore, one needs to keep a close eye on possible new restrictions that might come into place and the effect that the termination of the wage supplement could have on unemployment. As things stand, the wage supplement will be terminated in September as long as there is no extension.”

In February 2020 registered unemployment was down to just 1,659 individuals. March 2020 was the month when the COVID restrictive measures started to be introduced and unemployment increased by 466 to 2,125 individuals.

The number of unemployed persons in April stood at 3,979. When compared to April 2020, unemployment in May increased by a further 11% bringing the total number of unemployed individuals to 4,409, the highest since early 2016. Therefore, between February 2020 and May 2020, unemployment increased by 2,750 people or 166%.

However, during the past 2 months of June and July, unemployment started to decrease. In June 2020, registered unemployment decreased by 139 and stood at 4,270. In July 2020, unemployment decreased by a further 289 and stood at 3,981 individuals.


Segmentation of reduction in registered unemployment

Between March and May 2020, the pandemic has costed 2,750 jobs, out of which 428 were recovered between June and July.

It is interesting to note main areas where the decreases in unemployment took place. Between May 2020 and July 2020 registered unemployment decreased by 428 individuals. This was evenly split between males and females, with 212 and 216 respectively. There was also a decrease across all age groups apart from the under 20 age group.


Looking at these figures from a percentage point of view, during the past 2 months (June and July), it is evident that there are some discrepancies in job creation when analysed by the different age groups. Taking the increase in unemployment up till May 2020 as a base, unemployment decreased by 28% in the 20 to 24 age group while it only decreased by 7% in the 45 and over age group. Also, there is a steady decrease in the reduction in unemployment as you move towards older age groups. This indicates that people of an older age are finding it more difficult to find a job. Another point to note is that unemployment for males aged less than 20 have continued to increase at a high rate.


If one had to look at unemployment by type of occupation sought, it is clear that between March and May unemployment increased across all type of occupations, however, between June and July unemployment also decreased across all type of occupations. The highest decrease in percentage terms was registered for people looking for a job in the craft and related trades workers sector (35.4% reduction in unemployment) followed by the skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers (31.6% reduction in unemployment).

Source: National statistics office Malta: Registered Unemployment​: July 2020