Employment increased by 5.4% in the last quarter of 2019 when compared to the same quarter a year earlier, according to Labour Force Survey estimates.

These indicated that total employment during the period stood at 258,064 accounting to 60% of the population aged 15 and over.

The unemployed numbered 8,541 (2%) while inactive persons totalled 163,577 (38%). The activity rate was estimated at 76.6% with the highest rate recorded among those aged 25 to 54 (87.7%).

The employed population

On average, out of every 100 persons aged between 15 to 64 years, 74 were employed. The male employment rate for this age bracket was 83.4% while that for females stood at 63.7%.

The largest share of employed persons was recorded among persons aged between 25 and 34, for both males and females.

Self-employed persons accounted for 15.5% of all persons with a main job. The majority of employed persons worked on a full-time basis and totalled 222,079. Another 35,985 had a part-time job as their primary employment.

Results show that, on average, full-timers work 42 hours while part-timers work 21.7 hours per week.

The average annual basic salary of employees during this period was estimated at €19,488. The highest basic salary was recorded in the financial and insurance activities sector.

Average annual salaries varied from €33,562 among managers to €12,500 among persons employed in elementary occupations.

The unemployed and inactive population

The unemployment rate for the period stood at 3.2%. The largest share of unemployed persons was recorded among persons aged 25 to 74.

Females accounted for 61.5% of total inactive persons. In addition, those over 65 years made up the highest share of the inactive. In fact, more than 40% were inactive because they had reached retirement age or were taking up early retirement.

Education attainment

Just over half of those over 15 years had attained a low level of education. In contrast, 30.9% of those employed had a tertiary level of education.

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