Ministry of Finance has stated that the number of people under employment has recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
The government’s fiscal strategy statement submitted to the Parliament of the Maldives on behalf of the finance ministry highlighted that there is no arrangement to provide regular annual statistics on the total number of individuals employed and the number of individuals in need of employment.
However, the number of employees registered with the Maldives Pension Administration Office (MPAO) is currently available as a statistic indicating the growth of the labour market though it includes official employees. Therefore, the statistics of the office do not reflect the changes in the labour market of foreigners, self-employed workers and those working in the informal sector.
The fiscal strategy states that the labour market has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. The number of employees registered with the MPAO has decreased significantly by 2020. In 2021, when the delta variant of the virus was spreading most rapidly, the number of employees declined in July 2021 due to measures taken to prevent the further spread of the disease. However, the number of employees registered with the MPAO in November and December 2021 was higher than the number of employees in 2019 as the restrictive measures were lifted.
Based on the direction in which the tourism sector is growing, the finance ministry said that the figure is expected to be higher than in other months of 2019. Around 40% of the employees registered with the Pension Office are in the public sector and employees in the sector have increased in 2020. However, by 2022, the largest increase will be in the public sector or non-tourism sectors.