Unemployment in Cyprus has reached its lowest levels in the past 15 years, Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou said on Tuesday.

In the first quarter of 2024, unemployment was at 6 per cent, which is still higher than its 2009 levels at 4.6 per cent for the same period.

Since then, unemployment figures peaked in 2015 at 17.7 per cent and have been on a gradual decline since.

“Our state is a social one and our government is people-centred. Reducing unemployment and gradually creating conditions for full employment is a central government policy for the development of the economy and society’s cohesion,” Panayiotou said.

He added that the long-term unemployed are at their lowest levels in the past 14 years.

Figures he shared put the figure at 1,403 in the first quarter of the year. The number of long-term unemployed peaked in 2021 with 13,106 individuals and in 2015 with 12,369 people.

Panayiotou added that in the first year of President Nikos Christodoulides’ government, the number of unemployed has dropped by 4,055.

“We are pleased to note that the statistics and the data allow us to be optimistic about the future, about the integration of more workers into the workforce and the continued reduction of the unemployment rate.”