Unemployment rate hits new record low
The country’s unemployment rate fell to a new record low of 7.8 per cent at the end of April. according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).
This is two percentage points lower than the 9.8 per cent that was recorded for the comparative period in 2018.
According to STATIN, the employed labour force increased by 29,900 persons as of April 2019 when compared to April 2018.
The number of employed males increased by 18,200 during the period, primarily in ‘construction’ and the category ‘other community, social and personal service activities’.
Female employment increased by 11,700 mainly in the categories ‘hotels and restaurant services’ and ‘real estate, renting and business activities’.
The number of persons employed in April 2019 was 1,244,500, or 2.5 percentage points higher than the 1,214,600, recorded in April 2018. The number of males employed at the end of April was up 2.7 per cent to 691,500, while the number of females employed was up by 2.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, STATIN said on Wednesday that more persons were employed as ‘service workers and shop and market sales workers’ and ‘clerks’. It said that at 18,100, the occupation group ‘service workers and shop and market sales workers’ had the largest increase in the employed labour force. This category of workers moved from 275,000 in April 2018 to 293,700 in April 2019.
“Of the two occupation groups with decreases in employment, ‘skilled agricultural and fishery workers’ accounted for the larger decline of 8,800, followed by ‘elementary occupations’ with a decrease of 3, 800,” said STATIN.
When compared to April 2018, the industry group that recorded the largest increase in April 2019 was ‘public administration and defence; compulsory social security’ which was up 19.9 per cent or 11,400 persons.
During the period under review, the industry group ‘construction’ accounted for the largest increase (9,500 or 9.8 per cent) in male employment, followed by ‘other community, social and personal service activities’ (6,000).
Higher employment levels for females were recorded in the groups ‘hotels and restaurant services’ (7,300), ‘real estate, renting and business activities’(7,200) and ‘public administration and defence; compulsory social security’ (6,700).
In the meantime, STATIN said the number of unemployed persons as at April 2019 was 105,400, a decrease of 25,900 or 19.7 per cent relative to April 2018.
The number of unemployed males decreased by 13,000 to 39,900 in April 2019, while the number of unemployed females stood at 65,500, a decline of 12,900.
And the unemployment rate for youth 14-24 years was 19.5 per cent in April 2019, which represented a decrease of 6.4 percentage points when compared to 25.9 per cent in April 2018.
The unemployment rate for male youth fell 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 said STATIN.