'Clerks' occupation group tops the labour force growth list

'Clerks' occupation group tops the labour force growth list

Unemployment figures at new low

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy, is informing that the 'clerks' occupation group accounted for the most significant increase in employment recorded in the October 2019 Labour Force Survey.

Speaking during STATIN's quarterly briefing at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (January 17), Coy noted that the number of people employed in this group rose by 17,700 (19.3 per cent) to 109,400, relative to the corresponding period in October 2018. She said females accounted for the larger portion of the increase, totalling 11,200.

Additionally, the director general said the service workers and shop and market sales workers' group recorded the second highest increase, attracting an additional 13,900 people.

Coy then stated that an examination of the employed labour force by industry, relative to October 2018, showed that the largest increase of 10,800 workers was recorded in the category — 'public administration and defence; compulsory social security'.

The total number of employees in this group soared to 71,100, up from 60,300 in October 2018.

Other industries recording increased employment were: 'Hotels and Restaurant Services” — 5,500 people 'Wholesale & Retail, Repair of Motor Vehicles & Equipment' — 5,200 people; and 'Health & Social Work' — 5,100 people.

'Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security' accounted for the largest increase in male employment – 6,700. This spike propelled the figure from 31,100 to 37,800 people.

The highest number of females — 4,800 — was recorded in the 'hotels and restaurant services' category, with the figure moving from 62,300 to 67,100.

Coy then advised that decreases were recorded for 'agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing', down 6,500 workers to 188,500, and 'mining and quarrying', which declined by 2,400 individuals.

The total number of people in jobs, as at October 2019, went up by 29,200 (2.4 per cent) to 1,248,400, relative to the corresponding period in 2018.

The director general pointed out that increased female employment, which rose by 18,600 to 565,600, was nearly twice that of males, which climbed by 10,600 to 682,800.

The overall labour force increased by 10,200 people to 1,345,100, with the number of males jumping by 7,600 to 726,100, while the figure for females rose 2,600 to 619,000 people.

Jamaica's unemployment rate fell to a new record low of 7.2 per cent, according to STATIN's survey.

Coy said 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.

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.

Female unemployment fell by 16,000 to 53,400, while the total number of unemployed males decreased by 3,000 individuals to 43,300.

Coy indicated that the out turn for females represented a 2.6 percentage points decline to 8.6 per cent, while the rate for the males dipped from 6.4 per cent to six per cent.

She further pointed out that the unemployment rate for youth, aged 14-24, fell from 24.9 per cent in October 2018 to 21.1 per cent last year.

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

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