The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting a 10.8 per cent reduction in the number of employed persons as at July 2020, relative to the corresponding period last year.
This decline in employment has been largely attributed by labour analysts to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on economic activity in Jamaica, which recorded its first confirmed case on March 10.
Speaking at STATIN’s quarterly digital briefing on October 21, Director General, Carol Coy, said the July Labour Force Survey shows that 1,118,300 individuals were employed, which was 135,800 lower than the figure in 2019.
Additionally, she said the total number of persons comprising the labour force declined by 81,200 or six per cent, to 1,279,600 over the review period.
Ms. Coy noted that males accounted for 53.8 per cent of the decrease, and that the number of employed individuals in this cohort fell by 73,100 or 10.5 per cent to 620,100.
Additionally, she said female employment declined by 62,700 or 11.2 per cent, from 560,900 in July 2019 to 498,200.
The Director General said the unemployment rate for youth, aged 14 to 24, was 30.4 per cent in July 2020, compared to 20.2 per cent for the corresponding period last year.
“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,” she further informed.
Ms. Coy advised that the total number of unemployed persons as at July 2020 increased by 51.2 per cent to 161,300.
She noted that the number of unemployed males was 80,500, an increase of 37,800, while the figure for females rose by 16,800 to 80,800 persons.
“The unemployment rate for July 2020 was 12.6 per cent, which was 4.8 percentage points higher than the rate of 7.8 per cent for July 2019,” the Director General indicated, pointing out that the figure increased for males and females.
“In July 2020, the unemployment rate for males increased to 11.5 per cent and females to 14 per cent,” she added.
Ms. Coy further informed that the number of individuals classified as ‘Outside the Labour Force’ in July 2020, increased by 80,600 or 11.1 per cent, to 806,600 persons.
The July Labour Force Survey was the first undertaken by STATIN for the 2020 calendar year, after COVID-19 forced the entity to forgo the exercise in April.