New statis­tics – fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion of our suc­cess

Malta Independent - - DEBATE & ANALYSIS -

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.

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