Jamaica reports lowest unemployment rate of 6.2% in January 2022

April 22, 2022

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) reported that the unemployment rate for January 2022 was 6.2 per cent compared to 8.8 per cent for the same quarter of 2021, the lowest unemployment rate in Jamaica’s history.  In January 2020, before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent, there were more employed persons (1,272,700) and an overall larger economically active population (1,372,900) than in January 2022. The unemployment rate for males decreased by 2.7 percentage points from 7.6 per cent to 4.8 per cent. Similarly, the unemployment rate for females declined by 2.5 percentage points from 10.4 per cent to 7.9 per cent.

Data from the survey indicated there were 1,257,100 employed persons, an increase of 57,800 (4.8%) over January 2021. Male employment increased by 28,200 (4.3%) and female by 29,600 (5.5%). The increase in the number of employed males was mainly in the occupation group ‘Craft and Related Trades Workers’ while the increase in female employment was mainly in ‘Clerks’. The increase in employment for males and females was mainly in the industry group ‘Real Estate and Other Business Services’.

The number of persons employed in January 2022 was 1,257,100 compared to January 2021, there were 57,800 (4.8%) more employed persons. The number of employed males increased by 28,200 (4.3%) to 686,600. The number of employed females increased by 29,600 (5.5%) to 570,500, accounting for 51.2 per cent of the increase in the employed labour force. Notably, the number of unemployed persons was 83,500, a decrease of 33,000 (28.3%) compared to January 2021.

The largest increase in employment by occupation group was in ‘Clerks’, there were 120,500 persons employed in the occupation group in January 2022, an increase of 22,100 or 22.5 per cent compared to January 2021; females represented 13,000 (58.8%) of this increase. The largest increase in male employment was in the occupation group ‘Craft and Related Trades Workers’. The numbers employed in this occupation group increased by 10,900. Males represented the majority of the increase, moving up by 10,200 (7.8%) to 140,600.

The report indicated that the unemployment rate for youth (persons aged 14-24 years) was 17.7 per cent in January 2022, representing a decrease of 5.1 percentage points compared to 22.8 per cent in January 2021. The unemployment rate for male youth declined by 5.2 percentage points to 14.5 per cent, while the rate for female youth declined by 5.0 percentage points to 21.8 per cent.

The largest increase by industry group for both employed males and females compared to January 2021 was in ‘Real Estate and Other Business Services’. There were 126,600 persons employed in this industry group in January 2022, an increase of 25,200 or 24.9 per cent relative to the comparable 2021 quarter. Within this group, the number of employed males increased by 9,800 (20.6%) to 57,300; while for employed females, there was an increase of 15,400 (28.6%) to 69,300. Females accounted for 61.1 per cent of the increase in this industry group. The second highest increase was in ‘Accommodation and Food Service Activities’, which employed 13,900 more persons; males accounted for the majority (7,400) of this increase.

There was a larger decrease in the number of females outside the labour force. The number of persons classified as Outside the Labour Force was 755,600 in January 2022, a decrease of 22,400 (2.9%) compared to 778,000 in January 2021. The number of males outside the labour force decreased by 8,000 to 307,500, while for females, the decline was 14,400 to 448,100.




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