Youth Unemployment Falls

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, responds to questions during Tuesday’s (February 13) quarterly media briefing at the agency’s New Kingston head office.

Story Highlights

  • The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting that youth unemployment recorded the largest decline of all categories in the labour force, falling by seven per cent to 25.4 per cent as at October 2017, relative to the corresponding period in 2016.
  • He was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at the agency’s New Kingston head office on Tuesday (February 13).
  • Dr. Henry said the female unemployment rate fell by the second largest margin of 3.4 per cent, to 14.1 per cent, but remained higher than the figure for their male counterparts which declined by 1.6 per cent to 7.3 per cent.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting that youth unemployment recorded the largest decline of all categories in the labour force, falling by seven per cent to 25.4 per cent as at October 2017, relative to the corresponding period in 2016.

This was disclosed by Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, who said the figure represents the lowest since January 2009.

He was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at the agency’s New Kingston head office on Tuesday (February 13).

Dr. Henry said the female unemployment rate fell by the second largest margin of 3.4 per cent, to 14.1 per cent, but remained higher than the figure for their male counterparts which declined by 1.6 per cent to 7.3 per cent.

He reiterated that the overall unemployment rate, as at October 2017, fell by 2.4 per cent to 10.4 per cent, which is the lowest since October 2008.

Jamaica’s overall labour force comprised 1.34 million persons as at October 2017, according to STATIN’s survey, reflecting a decrease of 6, 500, compared to the previous year.

Dr. Henry said there was a 8,000 increase in the number of persons outside the labour force which outweighed the natural increase in the working age population, 14 years and older, by 1, 500.

The main reasons for this, he pointed out, were: 8,500 more persons indicating that they were in school fulltime and an additional 3, 900 individuals advising that they were enrolled in school part-time.

“The unemployed labour force amounted to 140,900 persons, which was 33,700 fewer persons, compared with October 2016. The total number of employed persons as at October 2017 stood at 1, 206, 800 persons, an increase of 27, 300 persons relative to October 2016,” the Director General pointed out.

An examination of the employed labour force by sector revealed that 11 of the 16 industry groups recorded higher employment levels.

Among these are: health and social work, up 7,100 persons; transport, storage and communication, up 6, 200 persons; construction – 4,800 persons; manufacturing – 4,800 persons; and wholesale and retail repair of motor vehicles and equipment -3,200.

“The (labour force survey) outturn for October brings the annual average unemployment rate to 11.7 per cent, the lowest in eight years,” Dr. Henry said.

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