Unemployment drops to 7.8 per cent

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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THE Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting further reduction in the unemployment rate to a new record low of 7.8 per cent.

As contained in STATIN's April 2019 Labour Force Survey, the figure is two percentage points lower than the 9.8 per cent recorded for the corresponding period last year, and 0.2 per cent lower than the out-turn for January.

Director General Carol Coy said the number of unemployed persons, as at April, fell by 25,900 or 19.7 per cent to 105,900, relative to 2018.

She was speaking at STATIN's quarterly briefing at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, yesterday.

Coy said male unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points to 5.5 per cent, while the corresponding figure for females fell by 2.1 percentage points to 10.6 per cent.

“The number of unemployed males decreased by 13,000 to 39,900 in April 2019. Over the same period, the number of unemployed females was 65,600; this was a decline of 12,900,” the director general outlined.

Additionally, she said the unemployment rate for youth, aged 14 to 24, fell by 6.4 percentage points from 25.9 per cent in April 2018, to 19.5 per cent this year

“The unemployment rate for male youth declined by 6.4 percentage points to 14.5 per cent, while the rate for female youth declined by 6.6 percentage points to 25.8 per cent,” Coy told journalists.

She pointed out that the overall employed labour force increased by 29,900 persons or 2.5 per cent to 1,244,500, over the 1,214,600 for April 2018.

Coy added that the number of employed males rose by 18,200 persons to 691,500, while the number of females in jobs increased by 11,700 to 553,000.

The total labour force increased to 1,349,900 persons, which is 4,000 more than 2018.

In addition, the number of males qualifying for jobs rose by 5,200 persons to 731,400, while the corresponding figure for females decreased by 1,200 to 618,500 in April 2019.

Coy said 736,900 persons were classified as being outside the labour force in April 2019.

The number was 4,800 or 0.7 per cent fewer than the out-turn in April 2018, and was predominantly males.

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