In an age where economic success is the name of the game for the government, wages appear to be stuttering after Malta was found to be the only EU nation to experience a contraction in wages during the second half of 2018.
According to Eurostat figures, the nominal hourly labour cost in Malta experienced a drop of 0.7% during the third quarter of last year and a further 0.5% in the fourth quarter.
The decrease, while being favourable for an industry looking to be more competitive, means that wages for workers have most likely increased. The contraction is more worrying when considering the relatively stable inflation on the price of goods and other key industries such as real estate.
The main contributor behind the drop was a decrease in hourly labour cost in private industry, with the non-business economy seeing an increase of 0.6%
While not expressly said, the decrease may be caused by the influx of foreign workers in specific industries who are employed on minimum wages, as is seen in construction.
On the European Union Level, the annual growth in labour costs was just under 3%.
Questions have been sent to the Ministry for Employment and the Ministry for Finance.