By Karena Bennett
The new hirings of men outpaced that of women in the latest quarterly jobs survey published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, Statin.
Combined, the increase in employment of both genders resulted in an overall dip in the number of Jamaica’s unemployed by 25,900 in the April 2019 survey, and cut the unemployment rate, or UER, to 7.8 per cent. Comparatively, the UER was two basis points less than the 8.0 per cent recorded in the January survey and two percentage points lower than the 9.8 per cent for April 2018, signalling continuing improvement in Jamaica’s jobs picture.
Data from Statin’s April 2019 Labour Force Survey showed that the number of unemployed males fell by 13,000 to 39,900 in April 2019. Over the same period, the number of unemployed females was 65,500; a decline of 12,900.
Over the period, construction accounted for the largest increase of 9,500 in male employment, followed by elementary occupations, up 6,500; and service, shop and market sales workers, up 6,300.
Female employment increased primarily in the groups service and shop and market sales workers, up 11,800; and clerks, up 10,100.
“Higher employment levels for females were recorded in the groups hotels and restaurants services, up 7,300; real estate, renting and business activities, up 7,200; and public administration and defence and compulsory social security, up 6,700,” said Director General of Statin, Carol Coy.
The industry groups that recorded the largest increases in employment year-on-year were: public administration and defence and compulsory social security, up 11,400; other community, social and personal service activities, up 10,400; construction, up 9,800; hotels and restaurants services, 9,800; and real estate, renting and business activities, up 8,600.
Jamaica’s unemployment rate for youth 14-24 years was 19.5 per cent, representing a decrease of 6.4 percentage points when compared to 25.9 per cent in April 2018. The unemployment rate for male youth declined by 6.4 percentage points to 14.5 per cent, while the rate for female youth declined by 6.6 percentage points to 25.8 per cent.
More than 29,000 people have joined the labour force over the past year, bringing the total to 1,349,900 persons.