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Cyprus - National Level

Short overview of the labour market

 

The impact of the global economic recession first appeared in the Cypriot labour market in late 2008 and persists to this day. The gradual but continuous decrease in economic activities led to the elimination of many jobs, resulting in a continuous increase in unemployment and, at the same time, a continuous decrease in employment. Since 2015, the economy began recovering, with improvements to key financial indicators. For 2018 up to and including February 2019, according to the data available from the Labour Force Survey, it appears that all indicators have improved and the labour market is steadily recovering.

Based on the latest preliminary data, which is an estimation, from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in February 2019, unemployment in Cyprus stood at 7.1%, representing a 2.3% decrease compared to the same month last year (9.4%).

According to the latest Labour Force Survey data, in 2018 the unemployment rate stood at 8.4% (36,617 people), representing a 2.7% decrease compared to 2017, when the unemployment rate stood at 11.1% (47,166 people).

The average unemployment rate in 2017 stood at 11.1%, compared to 12.9% in 2016, 14.9% in 2015, 16.1% in 2014 and 15.9% in 2013.

The unemployment rate among young people between 15 and 24 years of age stood at 20.2% in 2018, representing a 4.5% decrease compared to 2017 (24.7%). The average unemployment rate among young people between 15 and 24 years of age stood at 29.1% in 2016, 32.8% in 2015, 36.0% in 2014 and 38.9% in 2013.

According to the data kept at the District Labour Offices, the number of registered unemployed persons at the end of March 2019 stood at 26,508, down from 30,616 for the same month in 2018 (a decrease of 13.4% or 4,108 persons). It is pointed out that a continuous downward trend in monthly registered unemployment is recorded over a period of more than three years. In terms of sex, the number of unemployed men stood at 12,061, while the number of unemployed women stood at 14,447.

The highest decrease in terms of numbers in unemployment was reported in the districts of Limassol, Nicosia and Paphos (by 2,022 persons, 1,271 persons and 874 persons, respectively), while the decrease in the district of Larnaca was 489 persons.

The largest decrease in terms of numbers for March 2019 by area of economic activity compared to the same month in 2018 was reported in the areas of new entrants (by 1,468 persons), trade (by 903 persons), public administration (by 585 persons), construction (479 persons), manufacturing (by 366 persons) and hotels (by 131 persons). An increase in unemployment was reported in the banking sector (by 554 persons).

In 2017, Greek Cypriots made up the majority of the unemployed population, with 17,591 persons (66%). The respective number for the same month last year was 20,837 persons (68%) Of the total unemployed population, 5,678 persons (21%) were European citizens. The respective number for the same month last year was 5,329 (17%) of the total number of unemployed persons.

Half of those registered as unemployed have secondary-level general or technical education (51% or 13,419 persons), followed by those with primary education (23% or 6,158 persons) and higher education graduates (26% or 6,931 persons). The diagram below presents the fluctuation in the number of unemployed over the past 12 months according to educational level.

Profile of European New Entrants to the Cypriot Labour Market::

The number of European new entrants who came to Cyprus to work during the first three months of 2019 stood at 520 persons, accounting for 12% of the total number of new entrants to the Cypriot labour market.

Of the total number of European new entrants, 45% came from Greece, 12% from Romania, 17% from Bulgaria and 12% from the United Kingdom.

Out of the total number of European new entrants, most stated that they wish to work as service providers, in tourism, as salespersons or as unskilled workers.

Half of the Europeans registered as unemployed have secondary-level general or technical education (52%), followed by higher education graduates (32%) and those with primary education (16%).

 

Text last edited on: 05/2019


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