21 February 2007


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One in five earn living from a part-time job

James Debono

Nearly a fifth of Malta’s gainfully employed population earns a living from a part-time job while a further fifth earns a living directly from the state.
The two categories, together amounting to nearly 40% of gainfully occupied workers in Malta represent two opposite poles in the spectrum of the Maltese labour market – those taking the brunt of market forces and those who enjoy absolute job security.
The number of workers whose sole income derives from a part-time job amounts to 24,386 which amounts to 18% of the gainfully occupied population, statistics presented in parliament reveal.
On the other hand those working with a government department amount to 30,685, a staggering 22% of the number of gainfully occupied workers. This number does not include thousands of workers employed by various public authorities and corporations.
Over the past five years the number of workers whose sole source of income comes from a part-time job increased from 17,013 in 2001 to 24,386 in 2006 – a dramatic increase of 43% in just five years – possibly reflecting an increased participation of women in the labour market.
The rise in the number of those whose sole income comes from part-time work also implies an increase in those lacking job security and who may be working in precarious conditions. Part-timers working for less than 19 hours do not benefit from sick leave and other benefits.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, civil servants enjoy lifelong job security as well as benefits like summer half-days even if wages in the public sector are considerably lower than those in the private sector.

jdebono@mediatoday.com.mt



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