JAMAICA: Unemployment falls to Record Low

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday November 1, 2018 –Jamaica’s unemployment rate has fallen to a new record low of 8.4 per cent, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s (STATIN) Labour Force Survey for July.

This out-turn is 1.3 per cent lower than the 9.7 per cent recorded for the April 2018 Survey. It is also 2.9 percentage points lower than the rate of 11.3 per cent for July 2017.

STATIN said the decline is mainly attributable to an increase in the number of persons employed and a simultaneous reduction in the number of persons in the labour force.

The Institute noted that the July 2018 out-turn reflects a fall in the rate for males, down 2.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent, and females, down 3.8 percentage points to 11.4 per cent.

Additionally, STATIN said the unemployment rate among youth, aged 14 to 24, decreased by 5.3 per cent to 22.2 per cent, relative to the 27.5 per cent out-turn recorded in July 2017.

This, the Institute noted, was influenced by a decline in the number of young people in the labour force.

The agency indicated that the rate for both genders declined by 5.2 per cent in July 2018, with the figure for males falling to 17.4 per cent compared to 28.1 per cent for females.

The agency pointed out that the number of unemployed persons declined by 27.7 per cent to 111,800.

This reflected a 28.6 per cent decrease in the number of unemployed males to 41,800, and a 27.2 per cent fall in the number of unemployed females to 70,000. The total number of unemployed youth decreased by 14,600 persons to 45,200.

Meanwhile, STATIN said the overall number of employed individuals rose to 1,226,400 as at July 2018, representing an increase of 12,800 persons.

A breakdown of the figures shows that the number of males employed increased by 5,900 to 681,800, while female employment rose by 6,900 to 544,600.

STATIN advised that the total labour force stood at 1,338,300 persons, a decrease of 2.2 per cent in July 2018, compared to the corresponding period last year.

“Accordingly, the participation rate declined from 65.5 per cent to 64.0 per cent. The male labour force, which comprised 723,600 persons in July 2018 decreased by 1.5 per cent relative to July 2017 while the female labour force decreased by 3.0 per cent to 614,600 persons,” a STATIN statement said.


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