KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Director General, Dr Wayne Henry, says the number of individuals in jobs increased by 14,700 to 1,217,300 persons, as at April 2018, relative to the corresponding period last year.
Speaking at the PIOJ's quarterly media briefing at the Institute's head office in New Kingston recently, Dr Henry said this is according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) Labour Force Survey for April.
The Director General noted that the figure represents the highest level of employment ever recorded during a single month.
Consequent on this out-turn, Dr Henry said the unemployment rate as at April was 9.7 per cent, which is 2.4 percentage points lower that the figure for the corresponding period in 2017.
Dr Henry said a breakdown of the figures shows that female employment grew by 9,800 persons, while the number of males in jobs increased by 4,900 individuals.
This, he explained, translated into a reduction in female unemployment by 2.7 percentage points to 12.5 per cent, while the male figure declined by 2.2 percentage points to 7.3 per cent.
Youth unemployment recorded the largest reduction, 3.2 percentage points, to 25.8 per cent.
An examination of the employed labour force by industry shows that 11 of 16 groups recorded higher employment levels.
The most significant of these were wholesale and retail, repair of motor vehicles and equipment, up 13,300 persons; construction, up 5,900 persons; and education, up 5,700 persons.
Henry said, however, that the total labour force declined by 20,700 persons to 1,348,400.
This, he explained, resulted from a natural increase in the working-age population (14 years and older) by 1,300 persons, and an increase in the number of persons outside the labour force by 22,000.
Henry said these have been attributed to an increase in the number of persons indicating that they 'did not want work', by 13,300; an increase in the number of persons who indicated that they are 'incapable of work', by 9,800; and an increase in the number of individuals stating that they are 'at school part-time', by 5,900.