Are you sure? 33% of Maltese employees think they are ‘managers’

One-third of Maltese in employment described themselves as ‘managers’, just one percentage point less than those who describe themselves as manual workers

The famous ‘Class’ sketch broadcast in 1966 on the BBC’s The Frost Report, featuring John Cleese and Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett
The famous ‘Class’ sketch broadcast in 1966 on the BBC’s The Frost Report, featuring John Cleese and Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett

A European Commission survey has suggested the Maltese are very likely to place themselves at the top rungs of social ladder.

Over the past decade political parties have increasingly targeted the middle class, ignoring references to the “working class” which was once courted by both parties in the 1980s.

But a recent European Commission survey indicates that this tallies with how the Maltese perceive themselves. A third of Maltese in employment (34%) described themselves as ‘managers’, just one percentage point less than those who describe themselves as manual workers (35%).

This would make the Maltese the third most likely in Europe after the Swedes (38%) and the Estonians (35%) to describe themselves as managers.

Only 8% in Spain and 9% in Hungary and Greece describe themselves as managers. On average, across the EU 21% describe themselves as managers.

Yet it is not exactly clear how a managerial job is defined in different countries.  For example, only 31% of respondents from the Netherlands described themselves as managers but 67% put themselves in the top rungs of the social ladder in contrast to 32% of the Maltese.

A relative majority of Maltese (35%) describe their current occupation as “manual” in contrast to 41% of all EU respondents. Only 9% are self-employed compared to 15% in all Europe.

The survey shows that manual workers in Malta are outnumbered by people in white-collar jobs who represent 56% of the working population.

Significantly 32% of the Maltese place themselves on the top three rungs of the social ladder in contrast to 25% of respondents in all EU member states.

61% place themselves at the ‘middle’ as do 63% of all Europeans. Only 4% place themselves in the bottom three rungs, in contrast with 9% of all Europeans.

In an indication of a degree of social mobility 9% place their parents in the lowest rungs of the social ladder and 28% place their parents in the top rungs.

This suggests a 5-point generational decline in those who occupy the bottom rungs and a 4-point generational increase in those who occupy the top rungs.

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe