Working for work

Productive and decent employment is the most important source of income security. 

At present there is a goodwill factor that hasn’t been felt for a very long time. Economic stability encourages economic growth that brings prosperity and employment and one of the major factors for this sense of optimism is employment.  Malta’s current employment is at an historic high and unemployment is historically at its lowest.

This government has been ‘working for work’ because we know that by increasing the number of gainfully employed we are contributing to the macroeconomic growth and activity that we sustained during the last two and a half years. Productive and decent employment is the most important source of income security. This has resulted in more disposable income from which families in Malta and indeed all businesses in Malta are reaping benefits. 

Increasing employment and decreasing unemployment are obviously related but they are not the same thing. The economically active population includes both employed and unemployed persons. Eurostat statistics published at the beginning of this month show that Malta has the second lowest unemployment rate among the member states. At 5.1% Malta’s unemployment rate is far lower than the EU-28 rate of 9.5% and compares favourably to that during the previous administration which stood at 6.5%.

Youth unemployment rates are also on a steady decline and the work we have done is evident through a rate of 8.7% compared to the 14% youth unemployment rate that the PN-led government had posted. This is not a coincidence and the Youth Guarantee has helped considerably to this effect, even though the concept was shot down by the PN opposition leader. In fact Simon Busuttil had said that the Youth Guarantee proposed by the Labour Party was one big menace for our economy, or one big gimmick. How’s that for vision?

Employment rates reflect the creation of jobs and statistics are at the heart of many EU policies. During the first two years of this PL government, we have registered an increase of 12,750 jobs in Malta and Gozo. This reflects an increase of 1,500 full-time jobs over the number of employment opportunities created by the previous PN government during the full five years of their last term in government. We have incentivised the private sector and eight out of the 10 jobs created were created by the private sector. We have introduced childcare centres and projects such as the breakfast clubs and thanks to these initiatives, female employment trends show an increase of 6% in the workforce of our islands.

A faction of the PN opposition criticises this government for an increase in jobs in the public sector, even though one of their deputy leaders, Dr Mario de Marco has gone on record that “the public sector ratio of employment to total employment has fallen from 27% to 26.2%”. Yes we have registered an increase in jobs in the Education and Health sectors. We have increased the number of people in support services, doctors, nurses, teachers and Learning Support Assistants. 

We do not expect any thanks, we are merely working towards a solution, one that will provide meaningful employment for all those who seek it. However we do expect the PN leader to show some political maturity. Does he want us to stop employing people in these important sectors so as to have more ammunition to attack the same education and health sectors? No, we will continue ‘working for work’ and by attracting the right investment, we will generate more and more jobs for a brighter future for our country.