New statistics – further confirmation of our success
When we speak about economic development on a regional level, the range of indictors narrow to a handful; income per capita or at household level provide important understanding of changes on a medium- to long-term perspective. However, they are not as indicative when used to assess the performance over a relatively short period of time.
One of the best indicators to have an insight into how well a regional economy is doing is employment in the private sector. Firms will increase employment if they are experiencing an increase in their revenue and profits. They will have increased revenue and profits only if the general economic environment in which they are operating is doing well. In short, when the economy in its broader meaning is expanding, employment will go up.
Against this backdrop, the recent National Statistical Office news release confirms what we have been saying over the past three years. It also makes an important contribution to the debate by providing statistics on employment based on two concepts, which is place of work and place of residence.
This recent data on regional statistics complements existing statistics on employment among Gozitan residents and show that in the first three years of this administration, the number of Gozitan residents working full-time increased by 1,351. This means that during this legislature, there was an increase of about nine full-time jobs per week, which is twice the increase observed in the latter part of the previous legislature.
Furthermore, it also indicates that a large part of this increase in employment in Gozo was under the category of place of work. In fact, in the first three years of this administration, the amount of full-time jobs increased by 1,090, which means, an increase of seven full-time jobs in Gozo, each week. In contrast, in the previous legislature, an increase of less than two jobs every week.
Again more positive news emerges from this data when one looks at the contribution of the private sector, with the proportion of people living in Gozo to work with the private sector rising from 54 per cent in 2010 to 55 per cent in 2015. Looking at employment in Gozo, i.e. those in the ‘place of work’ definitions one finds that this proportion has increased to 59 per cents.
Among the sectors that created new jobs in Gozo during this legislature, there is the retail and tourist related activities which increased by almost 300 full-timers or nine per cent, as well as the professional and technical activities with fulltime job increases of nearly 280. Jobs were also created in sectors that until three years ago were almost non-existent or in deep decline. Examples are the 90 full-time jobs created in the communication and information sector and an increase of nearly 40 jobs in manufacturing.
All this took place from 2013 to the end of 2015, as data for 2016 is not included for obvious reasons. One can only anticipate that the increase for 2016 will be even for significant given the increase activity that is evident. Furthermore, in the coming years Gozo’s economy will benefit further following the two large foreign direct investments that is the project of medical school Barts and the establishment of the company RS2. The demand for employment will only go up and with all the multiplier effect it will create. This will be further supported by the measures announced in Budget 2017, where a combined investment of nearly € 20 million was announced for the laying down the second fibre optic cable and the setting up of a new digital and commercial hub.
Besides contributing to better statistics on a regional level, the latest NSO release confirms that this government is delivering on its promise to create jobs for Gozitans in Gozo.