The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting an increase in the number of Jamaican workers with professional or vocational certification last year.
Programme Director for the PIOJ's Plan Development Unit, Richard Lumsden, said that figures from the 2012 Statistical Institute of Jamaica's (STATIN) Labour Force Survey, showed that 23.7 per cent of the labour force has such qualification.
The number, he said, represents a 0.5 per cent increase over the 23.2 per cent recorded in 2011.
Mr. Lumsden was providing an update on key indicators of national well being under the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan Framework, during PIOJ's quarterly media briefing on Thursday (February 21), at the agency's New Kingston offices.
With respect to major crimes, Mr. Lumsden said the ratio of crimes committed in 2012 declined by two per cent to stand at 386 per 100,000 persons, as against 394 per 100,000 the previous year.
Mr. Lumsden advised that murder fell from 42 per 100,000 in 2011 to 40 per 100,000 last year, representing a 4.1 decrease.
"These figures for 2012 continue the overall downward trend in crime rates that began in June of 2010 and represent the third consecutive year in which both rates have declined," Mr. Lumsden stated.
Meanwhile, the labour survey showed that the size of the labour force, as at October 2012, stood at approximately 1,261,100 persons, which was 12,600 more than the figure for the corresponding period in 2011.
It indicated that the number of persons holding jobs, as at October 2012, totalled 1, 088, 200, approximately 700 less than the corresponding period in 2011. The overall unemployment level increased by 0.9 per cent, as at October 2012, to stand at 13.7 per cent.
Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing; and Hotels and Restaurants, were the two sectors, of 16 industry groups surveyed, that generated significant employment during the period.
Agriculture saw an additional 9, 400 persons being employed, and Hotels and Restaurant Services, 5, 300 persons.