Fulfilling our Europe 2020 targets
On February 22, the European Commission published its annual analysis of the economic and social challenges – the Country Report – for each Member State, including Malta. The report is a tool which falls under the European Semester for economic policy coordination, to monitor policy reforms and to highlight the challenges Member States need to address.
This Report states that labour participation in Malta has continued to improve. It also stated that Malta is steadily approaching its national Europe 2020 target employment rate of 70%, largely driven by an increase in women joining the labour market.
The Report did, however, highlight the persistence of a gender gap in employment, mainly caused by low-skilled, older women in employment. Notwithstanding significant improvement in recent years, the gender employment gap (20-64) is the largest in the EU and stood at 27.8% in 2015.
In 2016, almost 25% of all companies in the industry sector reported that the low availability of workers is constraining their business growth.
The National Reform Programmes (NRP), which should be presented to the Commission shortly, should start addressing pending issues in order to try and meet the Europe 2020 targets which would contribute to more resilient economic growth. Malta’s draft NRP will be the subject of further discussion prior to submission during a joint MEUSAC Core Group and MCESD meeting to be held in the coming weeks. The Minister for Finance, Edward Scicluna, will also be present for this meeting.
The online magazine is available here.