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Unemployment up, says STATIN

Thursday, February 06, 2014    

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THE number of unemployed persons in the Jamaican workforce appears to be climbing, in spite of intervention from the Government, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has reported.

The latest Labour Force Survey, for October 2013, shows that the number increased by 14,100 (or 7.8 per cent) when compared to the corresponding period in 2012 when it stood at 179,900.

Of the 14,100, females accounted for 12,700 (or 12 per cent more than October 2012), while 1,400 were males, an increase of 1.9 per cent over the previous period.

Similarly, the unemployment rate for the period was 14.9 per cent, compared to 14 per cent in October 2012. It was 10.6 per cent among males and 20 per cent among females.

Among youths aged 14-24 years the rate stood at 37.7 per cent, an increase of three percentage points when compared with 34.7 per cent in October 2012.

Conversely, the employment rate for October 2013 was 85.1 per cent, a decline of 0.9 percentage points from the previous October.

Among the most notable of Government's interventions to harness unemployment is a programme called the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, which employs people on short-term, rotational bases. But it appears that the controversial programme might not be the answer to the country's high unemployment figures.

The Labour Force Survey is conducted by STATIN and is produced every quarter using the population census data to derive estimates. The reference week for the latest production was September 22-28, 2013.

The report said the number of persons in the labour force as at October was 1.6 per cent more than it was in the previous year, when it came in at 1,304,800.

"The employed labour force for October 2013 was 1,110,700, which was 6,700 more than the 1,104,000 recorded in October 2012. For males, it increased by 6400 (one per cent) to 637,800 and for females there was no noticeable movement," the agency said in a release issued Monday.

The occupation which recorded the most growth in the period was clerks, showing an increase from 89,400 persons so classified in October 2012 to 102,200 in 2013. Similarly, the industry with the most growth was health & social work "where the number of persons employed increased by 8,400 (32.1 per cent), moving from 26,200 in October 2012 to 34,600".

'Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers' and 'Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities' registered the largest declines over the period.

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