More Women Entering Labour Force as Unemployment Continues to Decline


More women than men joined the labour force over the one year period from October 2017 to October 2018.

That’s according to the latest data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN.

STATIN says up to October last year, unemployment stood at 8.7 per cent. In October 2017, the unemployment rate stood at 10.5 per cent, a decrease of 1.8 per cent.

According to the Statistical Institute, the biggest growth for women occurred in real estate, renting and business activities industry. While men saw the biggest gain in employment in the category labelled ‘Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities’.

STATIN says in October 2018, the labour force stood at 1,335,300 people. Of the total labour force, 1,219,700 people were employed in Jamaica.

That means up to October last year, 115,600 people were unemployed. That’s a decrease of 25,000 people when compared to October 2017. For men, unemployment decreased by almost 12-per cent to 46,300. Over the same period, there was a decline of more than 21-per cent in the number of unemployed women to 69,300.

The male unemployment rate now stands at 6-point-4 per cent, while the female unemployment rate stands at 11.2%. That’s 14,400 more people employed in the country when compared to the corresponding period in 2017. Of the number of persons who joined the labour force, 10-thousand 300 hundred were women. That more than doubles the 4,100 men who joined the labour force.

According to STATIN, the occupation group, ‘Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians’, grew by 7,800 people — the largest increase over the period. Of that number, 7,600 were women.

The ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’ industries grew by almost 12 per cent, some 9,700 people gained employment in those sectors.

Of that number, 8,400 of them were women — accounting for the largest increase in female employment over the period.

In contrast, the ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’ industries saw the biggest drop-off where 7,500 people left the industry during the period under review.

Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate in October 2018 is 24.9%. STATIN defines youth as people aged 14 to 24.

According to STATIN, the youth unemployment rate is slightly down from the 25-point-4 per cent registered in October 2017.

Over the same period, the unemployment rate for male youth increased to 21-point-8 per cent in October 2018. But, the unemployment rate for female youth declined to 28-point-6 per cent.


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