Jamaica’s unemployment rate has nearly returned to pre Covid-pandemic levels.

That’s according to data from the latest labour force survey conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica presented this morning.

STATIN says the unemployed labour force declined by just under 50 thousand persons in the July quarter this year compared to the same period for 2020.

Wayne Walker tells us more.

More Jamaicans have returned to their jobs.

The country has recorded an unemployment rate of 8.5 per cent.

That’s an improvement of 4.1 percentage points over the figure recorded in 2020.

STATIN Director General, Carol Coy, says the number of Jamaicans who’re off work fell by over 30 per cent compared to the same period last year or just under 50,000 people.

This augurs well as the economy continues to recover from its worst slump brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the same period the Jamaican economy recorded significant GDP growth of nearly 15 per cent as restrictions and lock downs have eased both locally and globally.

Tourism, one of the country’s largest employers experienced meteoric growth driven by a 6,000 per cent rise in foreign national arrivals, while construction has maintained significant gains despite the pandemic.

Ms. Coy notes that the improvements in employment were driven by the category elementary occupations which accounted for 50 per cent of gains in the employed labour force.

However, Ms. Coy notes that Jamaica still lags behind the record low unemployment level achieved in 2019 of 7.8 per cent.