Jamaica’s Labour Force Survey April 2019

Date: July 18,  2019

Total employed labour force increased by 29,900, in April 2019 compared to April 2018, with the unemployment rate amounting to 7.8% as stated by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). Of the 29,900 increase in the labour force, employment of males rose by 18,200 primarily in ‘Construction’ and ‘Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities’. Female employment increased by 11,700 mainly in the ‘Hotels & Restaurants Services’ and ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’.

In April 2019, the number of persons employed was 1,244,500, which was 29,900 or 2.5% increase relative to 1,214,600, recorded in April 2018. The number of employed males increased by 18,200 or 2.7% to 691,500 while there was a 2.2%or 11,700 increase for females over the same period.

The occupation group that had the largest increase in the Employed Labour Force was ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ with 18,100 persons, moving from 275,600 in April 2018 to 293,700 in April 2019, while ‘Clerks’ increased by 15,900 or 20.8% over the period, moving from 76,600 in April 2018 to 92,500 in April 2019. However, the occupation groups with decreases in employment were, ‘Skilled Agricultural and Fishery Workers’ which accounted for the larger decline of 8,800, and ‘Elementary Occupations’ with a decrease of 3,800.

Increases in male employment were observed largely in the occupation groups ‘Elementary Occupations’ (6,500), ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ (6,300) and ‘Clerks’ (5,800). Female employment increased primarily in the groups “Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers” (11,800) and “Clerks” (10,100).

The industry group, ‘Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security’ recorded the largest increase in employment by 19.9% or 11,400 followed by ‘Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities’ with an increase of 15.4% or 10,400 persons.

In April 2019, the Unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 9.8% in April 2018. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 25,900 or 19.7% to 105,400 when compared to April 2018. The number of unemployed males in particular fell by 13,000 or 24.6% to 39,900 in April 2019. Moreover, the number of unemployed females was 65,500, a decline of 12,900 or 16.5% relative to April 2018.

The unemployment rate for youth 14-24 years was 19.5 % in April 2019 compared to 25.9 % in April 2018. The unemployment rate for male youth declined 14.5 % while the rate for female youth declined to 25.8 %.

According to STATIN, “The 736,900 persons classified as Outside the Labour Force in April 2019 was 4,800 (0.7%) less than in April 2018. This decrease was due entirely to males. Males outside the labour force in April 2019 was 292,800, a decline of 5,500.”

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