Malta recorded the highest growth in employment across the EU during the third quarter of this year, according to a recent Eurostat report.

With a rise of just over one percentage point, the country enjoyed more than double the growth seen in Belgium, which came second with half a percentage point.

This contrasted with the picture seen across the EU as a whole, where the average rate of employment contracted by 0.1 percentage points.

Malta was one of only 11 countries across the bloc which saw their employment rise, while some of the continent’s largest economies, including France and Germany, saw theirs fall.

Malta was one of only 11 countries across the bloc which saw their employment rise

The biggest decrease was seen in Croatia, where the employment rate reduced by slightly more than Malta’s increased.

“In the EU, the employment rate of people aged 20-64 stood at 75.3% in the third quarter of 2023, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points compared with the second quarter of 2023,” the report said.

“Labour market slack – encompassing those with unmet employment needs, a large part of which includes unemployed individuals – amounted to 11.3% of the extended labour force aged 20-64 in the third quarter of 2023.”

Malta’s employment rate growth of 1.1 percentage points in the third quarter of the year follows similarly strong results in the preceding quarter, when it also led the bloc with 1.3 percentage points increase.

According to Eurostat figures, the country enjoyed an employment rate of close to 84% last quarter, second only to Iceland, where the rate stood at almost 86%. This equated to almost 290,000 people in work.

In total, around 75% of the EU population was in employment last quarter, equivalent to over 195 million people.

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