Unemployment rate at new record low of 8 per cent – STATIN

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting another record low for the country’s unemployment rate which stood at 8.0 per cent at the end of January this year.

This represents a reduction of 1.6 percentage points when compared to the 9.6 per cent unemployment rate in January 2018.

According to STATIN, the employed labour force increased by 2.4 per cent with the increase in female employment – 3.5 per cent – more than twice that of males – 1.4 per cent.

“More females were employed in the occupation groups ‘Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians’ and ‘Clerks’.

“There was also an increase in the number of females employed in the industry groups ‘Hotels & Restaurants Services’ and ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’,” STATIN said in its January 2019 Labour Force Survey.

The Institute said the employed labour force for January 2019 was 1,232,700, which was 28,600 or 2.4 per cent more than in January 2018. The number of employed males increased by 9,500 to 673,500 and employed females by 19,100 to 559,200.

STATIN said more females were employed in the group, Clerks and Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians. The largest increase in employment was in the occupation group ‘Clerks’ with some 12,800 persons or an increase of 15. 8 per cent. Employment in this category stood at 94,000 in January 2019.

According to STATIN, of the seven occupation groups, there were increases in the number of persons employed in six groups. Only the category ‘Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing’ saw a decline of  11,600 persons (5.8%) to 188,700 in January 2019.

Meanwhile, STATIN said the increase in male employment was largest among the groups ‘Public Administration &  Defence; Compulsory Social Security’ (3,800), ‘Wholesale & Retail, Repair of Motor Vehicle & Equipment’(3,500) and ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’(3,100). ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’ (6,500) and ‘Hotels & Restaurants Services’ (6,400) accounted for the largest increase in female employment.

STATIN said the number of unemployed persons in January 2019 was 107,500, a decrease of 20,200 (15.8%) when compared to January 2018. Male unemployment decreased by 9,300, (17.6%) to 46,500 in January 2019. Over the same period, there was a decline of 10,900 (14.6%) in the number of unemployed females to 64,000.

In the meantime, the unemployment rate for youth (14-24 years) was 21.8 per cent in January 2019 compared to 23.7 per cent in January 2018.

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