Malta’s unemployment rate is increasing steadily according to statistics published by Eurostat yesterday. Compared to the unemployment rates of last month, the average unemployment rate in both the EU27 as well as in the 17 Eurozone states has remained stable; whilst the unemployment rate in Malta suffered another setback by registering the second highest increase among all EU states, during the same period.
Unemployment in Malta rose from 6.0% in May to 6.2% in June. In the previous month, April 2012, Malta registered its lowest figure in the last 12 months at 5.8%. Considering that these figures should have catered for a seasonal increase due to tourism, the reduction in the number of gainfully occupied is even more significant.
Another noteworthy statistic is the breakdown of statistics by gender and age. Whilst unemployment increased by 0.2% for both men and women, the rate of increase in unemployment for youths under the age of 25 increased by 0.6%. This data proves that the Guarantee for Youths announced by the Leader of the Labour Party is most valid. Dr. Muscat had said the Labour Party in government would guarantee all those who reach the age of 16 the opportunity to further their education, to give decent jobs to those who seek to enter employment and to those who remain unemployed for a period of six months, the provision of training facilities that focus on their abilities.
These figures are a nationwide concern. This is not only GonziPN’s problem, but one that effects the whole population. Higher unemployment will have negative effects on disposable income, on consumer confidence and will affect the quality of life of many Maltese families. So much for Dr. Gonzi’s much hyped record about employment. This is not a pleasant situation; but at least Lawrence Gonzi should come clean on this matter and state the truth. Lawrence Gonzi should realise that these figures are a direct result of the instability and uncertainty he has created. Even Nationalist sympathising sections of the Press are admitting that his actions are not in the best interest of Malta at this time. The sooner Gonzi accepts the inevitable the sooner the Maltese can look forward to the future.