Sharp rise in June unemployment compared to 2019

Jobsplus data indicates increase of 2,654 persons registering for work in June 2020 compared to previous year

A sharp rise in unemployment was registered in June compared to the same period last year, Jobsplus data shows
A sharp rise in unemployment was registered in June compared to the same period last year, Jobsplus data shows

Updated at 12:12pm with government reaction

The number of unemployed persons in June 2020 has increased by 2,654 when compared to the the same period last year.

Jobsplus data, published by the National Statistics Office on Monday, indicates that while the number of persons registering for work stood at 1,616 in June 2019, this rose to 4,270 in the same month this year - an increase of almost 165%.

The data shows a year-on-year increase of 2,425 persons registering under Part I and an additional 229 persons registering under Part II of the unemployment register.

(Source: Jobsplus data published by NSO)
(Source: Jobsplus data published by NSO)

Those registering under Part I are either new job seekers who have left school, re-entrants into the labour market or individuals who have been made redundant by their former employers. Those registering under Part II are either workers who have been dismissed from work due to disciplinary action, left work out of their own free will, refused work or training opportunities or were struck off the register after an inspection by law enforcement personnel.

Registered unemployment levels increased across all age groups, the statistics show.

The number of persons with a disability who were registering for work increased by 48 when compared to the previous year, reaching 262. Males accounted for 69.8% of total registrants with a disability.

(Source: Jobsplus data published by NSO)
(Source: Jobsplus data published by NSO)

The largest share of males and females on the unemployment register sought occupations as clerical support workers, with 20.7% and 34.5% respectively

The NSO highlighted that the unemployment data should be interpreted within the context of the COVID-19 situation, which forced the temporary closure, for a number of weeks, of various businesses, including restaurants, bars, clothes shops, hairdressers, and other services deemed non-essential.

A greater rise was registered in May 2020, with 4,409 people looking for work compared to the 1,669 in the same month last year.

Figures show improvement on May situation - government

In a statement, the government noted that the number of people looking for work in June had gone down by 139 - or 3% - compared to May.

“Every day in June, around five persons did not need to register for work anymore as they had found employment,” the government said.

It highlighted that, contrary to various other countries, Malta had already started showing signs of success in the fight against unemployment caused by COVID-19.

It also noted that, from a historical perspective, the unemployment rate remained low.

“In fact, in March 2013, before the change in government, there were 7,350 persons registering for work, or 72% more than the current levels. At the height of the economic crisis in 2009, the number of people looking for work was close to 8,000. The highest unemployment figures since our country joined the EU was in September 2004, with 8,197. This is almost double the levels we had last month.”

The government said that that around half of the decrease in unemployment in June (compared to May) was amongst those looking for work in the managerial, professional and technical sectors, with the biggest drop having been registered in those aged 30 to 44, followed by those aged 20 to 24.

Half of the decrease took place in Gozo.

The government went on to underline that the drop in unemployment started after it launched a €900 million economic regeneration plan to help businesses and families recover from the impact of the pandemic.