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In the third quarter last year, Labour Force Survey estimates indicate an increase of 2.1 per cent in employment compared to the previous year, confirmed the National Statistics Office (NSO). The employment rate stood at 60 per cent, while the unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent.

Labour Force Survey estimates indicate that, at 174,126, almost half the population aged 15 and over was employed during the third quarter of 2012.  On the other hand, the number of unemployed persons reached 12,283 (3 per cent), while 171,728 persons (48 per cent) were inactive.

The activity rate for the quarter under review was estimated at 64 per cent- 2 percentage points more than the corresponding quarter in 2011. The male activity rate remained practically unchanged when compared to 2011, while that for females increased by 4 percentage points.

The employment rate for the third quarter last year was estimated at 60 per cent, with the 25-54 age bracket recording the highest rate. A third of employed men were engaged in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and household goods, hotels and restaurants and transport and communication. On the other hand, employed women were mostly engaged in other service activities, which include jobs in Public administration, Education, the Health sector, and Other Community, Social and Personal service activities.

NSO added that nearly a quarter of females employed were engaged in service-oriented job. This category includes occupations such as hairdressers, waiters and salespersons. Moreover, men were mostly engaged in craft-related jobs (16 per cent) such as builders, plasterers, and maintenance persons, among other occupations.

The self-employed accounted for 13 per cent of the total work force. The majority of employed persons, 148,833, were on a full-time basis whereas an estimated  21,061 persons (12 per cent) were on a part-time basis.  A further 4,232 were in full-time jobs with reduced hours.

The average gross annual salary of employees was estimated at €15,513. This amount refers to the basic salary and excludes extra payments such as overtime, bonuses and allowances.

The highest average gross annual salary for employees was recorded in financial, real estate, renting and business activities. Results from the Labour Force Survey also revealed that

Legislators, Senior Officials and Managerial grades had an average annual salary of €23,805.

The Unemployed Population LFS results estimate that out of every 100 persons in the labour supply, 6.6 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for males stood at 5 per cent while the female unemployment rate rose to 9 per cent.  The increase in the female unemployment rate may be attributed to a shift in the number of inactive females to the labour supply (i.e employed + unemployed).

The largest share of unemployed persons was recorded among persons aged 15-24.  The majority, or 51 per cent of the unemployed, stated they had been seeking work for 12 months or more.

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