Monday 18 March, 2019

Unemployment rate falls to record low 8.4%

Strong job growth has led to a further 2.9 per cent decline in the unemployment rate which stood at a record low 8.4 per cent as of July 2018.

The Labour Force Report of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), which was released on Wednesday, said the job growth was strongest among the ‘service workers and shop and market sales workers’ occupation group, as well as construction workers.

According to the report, 'service workers and shop and market sales workers' grew by 13,600 persons, from 277,100 in July 2017 to 290,700 in July 2018. It said workers in the construction sector grew by 9,400 to 103,700 during the same period.

STATIN has also attributed the decline in the unemployment rate to an increase in the number of persons employed and a simultaneous reduction in the number of persons in the labour force.

“This decrease was reflected in a decline in both the male and female unemployment rates. Male unemployment rate declined by 2.2 percentage points, to 5.8 per cent. The female unemployment rate declined by 3.8 percentage points, to 11.4 per cent,” STATIN said.

At the same time, STATIN said the number of unemployed youth, aged 14 to 24 years, decreased by 14,600 persons to 45,200 in July 2018.

The total number of persons employed as at July 2018, stood at 1,226,400. This represented an increase of 12,800 persons when compared to July 2017.

The number of males employed increased by 5,900 to 681,800, while female employment increased by 6,900 to 544,600.

Meanwhile, STATIN said the labour force, as at July 2018, was 1,338,200 persons, a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared to July 2017.

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