Jamaica records over 54,000 job losses in July
Jamaica lost more than 54,000 jobs in the month of July alone, with males accounting for more than half of the individuals who had their job cut that month.
According to just-released statistics from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the largest decline for males was in the ‘elementary occupations’ and ‘crafts and related trades workers’ categories. The biggest tumble for females was among ‘service workers and shop and market sales workers’ and ‘elementary occupations’.
Males accounted for 53.8 per cent of the decline in the employed labour force to leave a total of 620,100 males employed in July 2020 against 498,200 females. STATIN noted 1,118,300 employed persons in July 2020 would have worked for at least one hour during a specified work week.
The number of persons in the labour force as at July was 1,279,600, a decline of 81,200 (six per cent) when compared with the 1,360,800 recorded in July 2019.
Overall, the country recorded an increase of 4.6 percentage points or 135,800 persons in the unemployment category for the month of July 2020 compared with the same period last year. Of that number, 54,600 were unemployed and the remainder was persons now categorized as being outside the labour force.
The unemployment rate for youth aged 14-24 was 30.4 per cent in July 2020 when compared to the rate of 20.2 per cent in July 2019. In July 2020, the unemployment rate for male youth was 28.5 per cent compared to 16.8 per cent in July 2019. For females, the rate was 33.1 per cent in July 2020, which was 8.6 percentage points higher than the rate in July 2019.
Jamaica’s top five industries for employment as at end-July were in the categories ‘wholesale and retail, repair of motor vehicle and equipment’, ‘agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing’, ‘other services’, ‘education, human health and social work activities’ and ‘real estate, renting and business activities’.
The top five occupations are in the categories: ‘professionals, senior officials and technicians’, ‘service workers and shop and market sales workers’, ‘skilled agricultural and fishery workers’, ‘craft and related trades workers’ and ‘elementary occupations’.
STATIN notes that participation rate in it’s quarterly employment survey was down to 61.3 per cent in July 2020 when compared to the rate of 65.2 per cent in July 2019.
In July 2020, the participation rate for males was 68.4 per cent compared to 71.9 per cent in July 2019. For females, the rate was 54.5 per cent in July 2020, which was 4.3 percentage points lower than the rate in July 2019.