Labour Force Survey figures for the third quarter of 2011 indicate an increase in employment of over 2 per cent when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2010.
The number of employed persons during the third quarter last year was estimated at 170,466, or nearly half the population aged 15 and over. There were also 11,218 (3 per cent) within the same age group who, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) criteria, were classified as unemployed. Another 173,679 persons (49 per cent) were inactive.
On average, out of every 100 persons within the 15-64 age group, there were 62 who were either working or actively seeking work. There was an increase in the activity rate when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2010. This rise was recorded for both males and females.
The employment rate for the third quarter of 2011 was estimated at 58 per cent – an increase of over one percentage point over 2010. The highest employment rates were recorded among persons aged between 25-54, for both sexes.
The largest proportion of employed men were engaged in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and household goods, hotels and restaurants, and transport and communication, at 32 per cent. On the other hand, the largest share of employed women (47 per cent) were working in other service activities.
Nearly a fifth of the employed population were engaged in service-oriented jobs. This category includes occupations such as hairdressers, waiters and salespersons. Service-oriented occupations were predominant among female workers, while men were mostly engaged in craft- related jobs.
In terms of professional status, the majority of employed persons were employees, at 87 per cent of the total work force; 146,855, or 86 per cent, were working on a full-time basis. On the other hand, 23,611 (14 per cent) were engaged in part-time jobs or had a full-time job with reduced hours.
During the period under review, the average gross annual salary of employees was estimated at €15,036. This amount refers to the basic salary and excludes extra payments such as overtime, bonuses and allowances as explained in the methodological notes. On a sectoral basis, the highest average gross annual salary for employees was recorded in financial, real estate, renting and business activities. The highest average salary by main occupation was for legislators, senior officials and managerial occupations, as expected.
The unemployment rate for the period under review was estimated at 6.2 per cent – 5.9 per cent for males and 6.7 per cent for females.
The largest share of unemployed persons fell within the 15-24 age bracket. Nearly half of these persons had been seeking work for at least 12 months.