Spanish workers double, more Italians take up jobs in Malta

Fewer Germans and French are now in the Maltese workforce, while workers from new EU entrants Romania and Bulgaria increase by over 22% over 2012

Most Spaniards and Italians in Malta work in the accommodation and food service sectors (above).  Scandinavians in a Swedish gaming company are treated to some fun time (above right) in appreciation in a Madliena mansion, while (right) there are also foreign workers in the construction sector
Most Spaniards and Italians in Malta work in the accommodation and food service sectors (above). Scandinavians in a Swedish gaming company are treated to some fun time (above right) in appreciation in a Madliena mansion, while (right) there are also foreign workers in the construction sector

Malta’s labour market is attracting more Spaniards and Italians and fewer German workers according to a comparison of statistics recently presented in parliament and of similar statistics compiled in 2008 and 2012.

The sharpest increase in workers hailing from other EU countries over the past year was from recession hit Spain and Italy. A more limited increase was registered from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Workers from Spain have nearly doubled in a year, from 309 in 2012 to 593 in 2013. Only 62 Spaniards worked in Malta in 2008. This means that the number of Spaniards working in Malta has increased tenfold since 2008.

The number of Italians working in Malta has also increased significantly over the past year, from 1,070 to 1,668. Workers from Italy have increased by 341% since 2008 when only 379 Italians worked in Malta.  In 2013 alone the number of Italian workers has shot up by 598.

The number of Romanians working in Malta has also increased by 22% in the past year, from 430 to 522 and by 91% since 2008 when only 274 Romanians worked here. The number of Hungarians has also gone up from 136 in 2008 to 645 in 2003 – an increase of 375% in five years.

Workers from bankrupt Greece have increased more than threefold, from just 30 in 2008 to 104 in 2013.

Bulgarians remain the third most numerous among workers hailing from other EU member states. But the number of Bulgarians has increased by only 40% since 2008, from 617 to 859.

On the other hand the number of Germans has decreased by 4% in the past year while foreign workers from the United Kingdom have increased by 1%.

Germans, who prevail in financial services and management posts, had increased from 331 in 2008 to 537 in 2012.  But their numbers decreased to 513 by the end of 2013.

Overall the number of EU nationals working in Malta increased from 4,262 in 2008 to 8445 in 2012 to 10,035 now. 

This means that workers from other EU member states have increased by 136% since 2008. 

The increase of workers from ailing southern European economies suggests that Malta’s relatively prosperous economy is attracting labour from ailing or crisis hit economies.

In fact the largest numbers of Spanish and Italian workers work in the accommodation and food service activities and in the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors. In 2012, 107 Italians were engaged as retail and wholesale traders.

The statistics also show a considerable increase of workers from prosperous Scandinavian countries who prevail in the gaming sector.

But while the number of Swedish workers had shot up from 280 to 536 between 2008 and 201 only 28 new Swedish workers arrived in 2013.

These workers tend to be more highly paid than those working in the catering industry, who may be more willing to accept precarious conditions.

Known for being high earners – and spenders – workers in gaming have increased demand for properties in localities like Sliema and Gzira which are becoming increasingly cosmopolitan.

Statistics show foreign EU workers account for more than 1 in every 10 residents in Gzira (844), Sliema (1,574), St Julian’s (1,281) and St Paul’s Bay (1,631).  607 EU workers live in Swieqi, accounting for 7% of Swieqi residents. 

The statistics indicate that most EU workers live either in affluent towns or in sea-side localities like St Paul’s Bay, Mellieha and Marsaskala.

Only 109 live in the capital city Valletta, where they account for 2% of the population.

The UK remains the greatest exporter of workers from EU with the number of British workers increasing slightly  from 1,208 in 2008 to 2072 in 2012.

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