According to the Minister of Labour Soteroula Charalambous, Cyprus has the highest number of foreign EU workers in relation to its population, than any other member state. During the period of 2009 and 2010 the number of employed Cypriots increased by just 3.3% while the number of EU workers in Cyprus increased by 46.6%. Currently in the Cyprus work force there are 42 EU workers for every 1000 Cypriot workers. The reasons for this influx is accounted to the low unemployment rate of Cyprus compared to the EU average rate. In the meantime Cyprus is recording the highest rate of increase in unemployment compared to any other EU state which reached 7.2% this year and is expected to rise even more during 2012.