Increase in women securing employment
Director General, StatisticalInstitute of Jamaica, Carol Coy

DATA from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) shows that the number of women securing employment is gradually increasing.

According to Statin's October 2021 Labour Force Survey, of the 76,600 additional persons gaining jobs to expand the employed labour force by 6.6 per cent to 1,234,800, women accounted for 43,700.

This out-turn represents 57 per cent of the overall additional jobs generated and pushed the number of gainfully employed females by 8.5 per cent up to 558,600. While the margin of increase for males was smaller, at 39,900 or 5.1 per cent, the overall number of men in jobs was significantly larger, at 676,200.

The out-turns for both genders were pivotal in driving down the unemployment rate to a record low 7.1 per cent in October 2021.

This eclipsed the previous 7.2 per cent achieved in October 2019, by 0.1 percentage point.

Speaking during Statin's digital quarterly media briefing on January 17, Director General Carol Coy indicated that the female unemployment rate fell by 4.2 percentage points to nine per cent.

The number of unemployed females commensurately declined by 23,000, or 29.4 per cent, to 55,200.

Coy further pointed out that the male unemployment rate decreased from 8.7 to 5.5 per cent, which saw the number of individuals not having jobs falling by 22,200, or 36.2 percentage points, to 39,100.

Meanwhile, female youth accounted for the larger fall-off in the unemployment rate for individuals 14 to 24 years.

The out-turn for this cohort declined by 12.3 percentage points to 21.6 per cent. The male youth unemployment rate contracted by 7.2 percentage points to 16.6 per cent.

Coy also advised that women accounted for the larger number of the 31,400 additional persons joining the workforce, which increased by 2.4 per cent to 1,329,100.

She indicated that the figure for women was 20,700 or 3.5 per cent, compared to 10,700 or 1.5 per cent for men.

However, the complement of males comprising the labour force remains higher at 715,300, compared to 613,800 for women.

A further breakdown of the survey's employment findings by occupation group shows women accounting for the larger share of increases in the categories 'Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians' and 'Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers'.

Of the 25,800 or 10.1 per cent additional persons recruited in the Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians group, which was the largest margin for the categories measured, women accounted for 13,500.

Females were also dominant in the category 'Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers', which saw employment climbing by 14,400.

Males, on the other hand, accounted for 10,000 of the 14,500 additional persons recruited in the 'Elementary Occupations' group.

The out-turn via industry group saw women again dominating in the 'Real Estate and Other Business Services' category, accounting for 14,100 or 25.7 per cent of the 24,500 additional persons employed, to push the figure in this area up by 23.1 percentage points to 130,500 in October 2021.

The largest increase for employed males occurred in 'Construction', which saw their figure rising by 12,000 or 12.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, there were 19,500 fewer females classified as being outside the labour force as at October 2021, compared to 9,500 for men.

The overall number of persons outside the workforce fell by 29,000, or 3.6 per cent, to 766,500.

However, the figure for females, 453,200, was disproportionately greater than males – 313,300.

The October 2021 Labour Force Survey's findings can be viewed at www.Statinja.gov.jm.

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