Cypriots Move Away from Farming to Manufacturing, Services

Cypriots – along with Greeks, Finns and Poles – have seen the most changes in society in the European Union, shifting away from agriculture to manufacturing and the service sector over the last generation.

That was the finding of a report by Eurofound,  the EU Agency for the improvement of living and working conditions, the Cyprus Mail reported.

The first of its kind report said the most dramatic changes were the agricultural and blue-collar sectors, part of the modernization of societies in the countries most affected.

For those countries that have seen their rural sector decline most, the following changes are visible over the generations: Greece (-29 percentage points), Poland (-28), Cyprus (-25) and Finland (-22).

In Cyprus, 27 percent of people were born into an agricultural family,  but now only 1.9 percent can be identified as farmers.

Some countries have also seen their heavy industries increase their workforce: Cyprus (+7 percent), Greece (+6 percent) and Lithuania (+4 percent).

“There appears to be a pattern, especially in European countries, whereby a decline in farming is followed by growth in manufacturing and industry, then followed by services development,” the report explained.

Cyprus has a high share in lower-skilled occupations – trade, personal services, unskilled blue-collar and routine jobs.

The report added that in Cyprus and Greece the current share of professionals and middle managers among the active population, despite doubling in a generation, has not yet attained the levels that France and the United Kingdom had in the previous generation.

In Cyprus, there is almost no class dissimilarity between men and women and their parents. A reason why the differences in class movement distribution for women and men is small may be related to the size of the economy.

In Cyprus and Greece, the ability to purchase private tuition is seen as a crucial factor. Because personal relationships and family ties influence the educational and professional choices of children. That leaves the the children of wealthy families having more education and training opportunities than those of lower-income families.


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