Unemployment at Lowest in 50yrs

Jamaica’s unemployment rate is reportedly the lowest it’s been in 50 years.

Data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN, yesterday, show that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 per cent in July. STATIN says it’s mainly due to an increase in the number of persons employed and a simultaneous reduction in the number of persons in the labour force.

The data also reveals the youth unemployment rate was 22.2 per cent. The institute suggests this was influenced by a decline in the number of youth between 14 and 24 years in the
labour force.

According to STATIN, the unemployment rate in July 2018 was 2-point-9 percentage points lower than the rate of 11.3 per cent recorded in July 2017.

The findings suggest the decrease was due to a decline in both the male and female unemployment rates. The male unemployment rate went down by 2.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent. While the female unemployment rate declined by 3.8 percentage points to 11.4 per cent. It’s understood it’s the lowest unemployment figures the country has recorded since 1968.

The number of unemployed persons declined by 27.7 per cent to 111,800 persons in July 2018 when compared to July 2017. The number of unemployed males decreased by 28.6 per cent to 41,800. While the number of unemployed females decreased by 27.2 per cent to 70,000.

While the unemployed youth, aged 14 to 24 years, decreased by 14,600 persons to 45,200 in July 2018. In the meantime, the data also revealed that the Labour Force in July 2018, stood at 1,338,200 persons. That’s a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared to July 2017.

The statistics also show that the participation rate declined from 65.5 per cent to 64 per cent. The Participation rate refers to people who are either looking for employment or are employed, and are at or above the working age.

This means fewer persons were interested in seeking employment in July 2018 than were interested in or seeking employment in July 2017.

The data also shows that the male labour force, which comprised 723,600 persons in July 2018 decreased by 1.5 per cent relative to July 2017.

Meanwhile, the female labour force decreased by 3-per cent to 614,600 persons. But according to STATIN, in July 2018, the number of employed persons stood at 1,226,400, representing an increase of 12,800 persons. That’s more than the number recorded in July 2017.

In the meantime, the figures are also showing that more males were hired in the Construction industry over the period, while more females were employed as Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers.

The statistics went on to show that the number of persons outside the Labour Force increased by 4.4 per cent to 753,600 in July 2018 when compared to July 2017.

The number of males outside the Labour Force increased by 3.5 per cent to 302,900, while the number of females outside the labour force increased by 4.6 per cent to 450,700.

The findings indicate youth aged 14 to 24 years who were outside the labour force also increased by 15,900 persons to 385,200.


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