THE Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) in its latest labour force survey findings has indicated that the country’s unemployment rate continues to trend downwards while female employment increases.
The country’s chief data processing entity, while presenting its review at a media briefing held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Friday, noted that for October 2019 the country’s unemployment rate stood at 7.2 per cent, representing a reduction of 1.5 percentage points when compared to the similar period in 2018, which saw a rate of 8.7 per cent.
Carol Coy, director general of STATIN, while addressing the briefing, said that the labour force comprising 1,345,100 people saw a total of 1,248,400 people employed, reflecting an increase of 2.4 per cent when compared to the 2018 period. The remaining 96,700 people represented those unemployed and reflected a decline of 16.4 per cent.
“In October 2019 the number of unemployed persons was 96,700, a decrease of 16.4 per cent when compared to 2018. The number of unemployed females was 53,400, a decline of 16,000 persons whiles the number of unemployed males decreased by 3000 to 43,300 persons,” she stated.
While male and youth unemployment rates for the period also experienced a decline and stood at 6.0 per cent and 21.1 per cent respectively, the entity recorded a larger figure of 8.6 per cent down by 2.6 percentage points for the rate of female unemployment.
“The increase in employment for females was nearly twice that of males, the number of employed males increased by 10,600 to 682,800 (up 1.6 per cent) and employed females by 18,600 to 565,600 (up 3.4 per cent),” the findings revealed.
The occupation group “clerks” had the largest increase in employment of 17,700 people or 19. 3 per cent across October 2018-2019, of this increase females accounted for 11,200 people.
Employed Labour Force by Industry
STATIN in its review also noted that an examination of the employed labour force by industry showed that relative to the period in 2018, the largest increase for October 2019 was in ‘public administration & defence; compulsory social security’ , which increased by 10,800 people.
Other industries reflecting increased employment was ‘hotel and restaurant services’ up by 5, 500 people, ‘wholesale & retail, repair of motor vehicle & equipment’ by 5,200 people and ‘health & social work’ by 5, 100 people.
On the flipside, employment decreased in the groups ‘agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing’ by 6,500 people and ‘mining and quarrying’ by 2, 400 people.
By Kellaray Miles