STATIN reports July labour force decline


STATIN reports July labour force decline

Business reporter

Sunday, October 25, 2020

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The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has reported a six per cent decline in the country's labour force in July.

Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, gave the update during a digital press briefing last Wednesday.

According to Coy, as at July 1,279,600 people made up the total labour force. “This was a decline of 81,200 when compared with July 2019.”

The male labour force, she said, decreased 4.8 per cent while the female labour force decreased by 7.3 per cent.

Coy further said that the total employed labour force had also declined by 10.8 per cent, amounting to 1,118,300 or 135,800 people fewer when compared to those employed for the same period last year.

“Males accounted for 53.8 per cent of this decline. There were 10.5 per cent less males employed while the employment of females went down by 11.2 per cent,” she added.

The number of employed youth, aged 14 to 24 years, also declined by 35,900 to 134,600.

“The unemployment rate for male youth was 28.5 per cent compared to 16.8 per cent in July 2019. For females, the rate was 33.1 per cent, which was 8.6 percentage points higher than the rate in July 2019,” the STATIN boss said.

The agency further reported a 12.6 per cent unemployment rate for the period, which was 4.8 percentage points higher than that seen in July last year.

“The unemployment rate increased for both males and females. The unemployment rate for males increased to 11.5 per cent and females to 14.0 per cent,” the director general outlined.

These declines in the labour force have been largely attributed by analysts to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic which, since the first confirmed case in March, has had negative implications for economic activity in the country.

The July survey was conducted by STATIN following the cancellation of April's survey, which became severely impacted by the effects of the pandemic.

In a COVID-19 module added to the July Labour Force Survey, STATIN said that it had aimed to assess the impact of the highly contagious virus on the local labour force.

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