Unemployment in Jamaica Dips to New Low

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday January 24, 2020 – The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has reported that the country’s unemployment rate has fallen to a new record low of 7.2 per cent, based on the October 2019 Labour Force Survey.

Director General, Carol Coy, says this is 1.5 percentage points lower than the 8.7 per cent out-turn for the corresponding period in 2018. It is also 0.6 per cent below the 7.8 per cent recorded in the April 2019 survey.

Additionally, she said the total number of persons in jobs as at October rose by 2.4 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Coy said a breakdown of the data shows that the total number of unemployed persons as at October 2019 stood at 96,700, representing a 16.4 per cent decline over the previous year.

She noted that female unemployment fell by 16,000 persons to 53,400, while the total number of unemployed males decreased by 3,000 individuals to 43,300.

The Director General said the outturn for females represented a 2.6 percentage point decline to 8.6 per cent, while the rate for the males dipped from 6.4 per cent to six per cent.

Additionally, she said the unemployment rate for youth aged 14 to 24 fell from 24.9 per cent in October 2018 to 21.1 per cent last year.

“The unemployment rate for male youth decreased by 3.6 percentage points to 18.2 per cent in October 2019 [while] the unemployment rate for female youth declined by 3.9 percentage points to 24.7 per cent,” she added.

Coy said the number of persons in jobs as at October rose by 29,200 persons (2.4 per cent) to 1,248,400, relative to the corresponding period in 2018. The overall labour force increased by 10,200 persons to 1,345,100.

She informed that increased female employment, which rose by 18,600 persons to 565,600, was nearly twice that of males, which went up 10,600 to 682,800.

The number of persons classified as being outside the labour force, as at October 2019, totalled 741,500, which was 10,800 (1.4 per cent) fewer than the 752,300 recorded the previous year.

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