The total number of employed persons increased by 14,400 to 1,219,700 as at October 2018, relative to the corresponding period in 2017.
This is according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) Labour Force Survey for the month, which shows the out-turn reducing the annual average unemployment rate to 9.1 per cent, the lowest recorded since 1968.
The findings were outlined by Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, during the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at the Agency’s head office in New Kingston, on Wednesday (February 20)
Dr. Henry said the survey showed that eight of the 16 industry groups recorded higher employment levels.
These include real estate, renting and business activities, up 9,700 persons; hotels and restaurants, up 5,400 persons; other community, social and personal services activities, up 4.700 persons; and mining and quarrying, up 3,500 persons.
Meanwhile, Dr. Henry said the monthly unemployment rate recorded for October 2018 stood at 8.7 per cent, 0.3 percentage points higher than the July out-turn.
The figure was, however, 2.8 percentage points lower than October 2017.
Despite the slight increase, the Director General said male, female and youth unemployment recorded declines for the period.
The female unemployment fell by the largest margin – 2.9 per cent – to 11.2 per cent; the rate for males declined by 0.9 per cent to 6.4 per cent; while youth (14 to 24 years) unemployment fell by 0.5 percentage points to 24.9 per cent, relative to October 2017.
Dr. Henry indicated that Jamaica’s labour force for October 2018 comprised 1,335,300 persons.
This, he pointed out, was a decrease of 10,700 persons compared with October 2017.
The October 2018 out-turn reflected an increase of 10,600 in the number of persons outside the labour force, which outweighed the natural decrease in the working age population (14 years and older) by 100 persons.
Dr. Henry said among the reasons cited for the increased number of persons outside the labour force were 6,900 more persons who indicated that they ‘did not want to work’, 3,700 more who said they were ‘staying home with dependents’, and another 1,400 who advised that they were ‘at school full-time’.
“The unemployed labour force amounted to 115,600 persons, which was 25,000 fewer persons compared with October 2017,” he pointed out.