Asian nationals, in particular Chinese, continue to receive the majority of work permits issued each year by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Of the total of 4, 453 applications received by the ministry in 2021, nationals from Asian countries accounted for 62.7 per cent, followed by Latin America at 12.9 per cent and the Caribbean at 11.6 per cent.
The figures are contained in the 2021 edition of the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ) which has just been released.
The Survey noted that “Chinese nationals continued to register the highest number of approved work permit applications (with) 1,951 work permits (or) (42.0 per cent of total permits”.
Of the applications received last year, 1,504 were for new work permits while 2,949 were renewals.
The Labour Ministry approved 99.2 per cent of all new work permit applications, while 14 applications were denied – seven for new permits and seven for renewals.
Males continued to account for the majority of approved work permits, representing 79.8 per cent of the total (new and renewal) approved in 2021.
Work permit approvals were driven mainly by the following industries: Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicle & Equipment (2 096); Accommodation and Food Service Activities (670); Construction (628); and Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (327).
Approvals were also concentrated in the Managers (1 667); Technical and Associate Professionals (1 345); Professional (710); and Service and Sales Workers (421) occupational categories.
Under the Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) Act, 1964, foreign nationals who wish to work in Jamaica must first apply to the labour ministry for a work permit.