Jamaica’s Unemployment Rate for April 2021 rose to 9.0%

July 23, 2021


The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) did not undertake a Labour Force Survey in April 2020 due to the pandemic and the measures implemented by the Government to contain the spread. The current release highlights the April 2021 Labour Force Survey findings and a comparison with the April 2019 survey was done as an indication of the changes that took place.

According to STATIN, as at April 2021 there were 1,206,000 employed persons. Relative to April 2019 there were 30,600 fewer males and 9,900 fewer females employed. In April 2021, the unemployment rate was 9%. This was 1.2% higher than the rate in April 2019. The largest decline in employment by occupation group was in ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’, while the industry with the largest decline was ‘Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Other Services’.


Of the 1,206,000 persons employed in April 2021, 661,900 were males while 544,100 females. There were 40,500 or 3.2% less employed persons relative to the 1,246,500 persons employed in April 2019. There were 30,600 or 4.4% fewer males and 9,900 or 1.8% fewer females in the employed labour force.

There were 265,400 persons employed in the occupation group ‘Service Workers and Shop Market Sales Workers’ in April 2021. This group had 29,500 or 10% fewer persons compared to April 2019. Within this occupation group, male employment decreased by 9,300 and female employment by 20,200. The number of employed persons in the group ‘Elementary Occupations’ was 157,400 a decline of 13,700 persons compared to April 2019. In April 2021 there were 104,300 persons employed in the group ‘Clerks’. Employment in this group increased by 11,300 persons or 12.2% compared to April 2019. A comparison of the April 2021 and April 2019 surveys showed that the number of males employed in this group increased by 6,300 or 24.4% while females rose by 5,000, representing a 7.4% increase.

In April 2021, there were 106,900 persons employed in the industry group ‘Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Other Services’. Compared to the 22,100 in April 2019 which was 17.1% fewer persons who worked in the industry: 11,400 fewer males and 10,700 fewer females. ‘Accommodation and Food Service Activities’ employed 92,500 persons in April 2021, a decline in employment of 20,500 or 18.1% when compared to April 2019. Females accounted for 59% (12,100) of the decline.

There were 105,000 persons working in ‘Real Estate and Other Business Services’ in April 2021. A comparison with April 2019 showed that the number of persons in the industry group increased by 17,300 persons or 19.7%, 8,400 males and 8,900 females. In April 2021, the number of persons employed in ‘Construction’ was 118,400 the majority of whom were males 114,900 or 97%. Compared to April 2019, there were 7,600 more persons employed in the construction industry.

In April 2021 there were 119,400 unemployed persons. This was 14,200 more persons compared to April 2019. The number of unemployed males was 53,400 an increase of 13,600 or 34.2%. The number of unemployed females was 66,000 compared to 65,400 in April 2019. The number of unemployed youths was 47,600 an increase of 8,300 or 21.1%. The unemployment rate of April 2021 was 9%, 1.2% higher than the 7.8% in April 2019. The unemployment rate for males was 7.5% and 10.8% for females. The youth unemployment rate was 24%, a difference of 4.6% compared to 19.4% in April 2019. The unemployment rate for males 14 to 24 years was 21.1% in April 2021 and 28% for females within the same group.

In April 2021 there were 1,325,400 persons in the labour force, 26,300 or 1.9% fewer persons than in April 2019. There were 715,300 males and 610,100 females in the labour force. Compared to April 2019, the male labour force declined by 17,000 or 2.3% and the female labour force by 9,300 or 1.5%.

The number of persons outside the labour force was 769,000 in April 2021, 30,900 more persons compared to 738,100 in April 2019. In April 312,700 males and 456,300 females outside the labour force; an increase of 19,300 or 6.6% males and 11,600 or 2.6% females relative to April 2019.




Analyst Certification -The views expressed in this research report accurately reflect the personal views of Mayberry Investments Limited Research Department about those issuer (s) or securities as at the date of this report. Each research analyst (s) also certify that no part of their compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendation (s) or view (s) expressed by that research analyst in this research report.

Company Disclosure -The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. You are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Mayberry may effect transactions or have positions in securities mentioned herein. In addition, employees of Mayberry may have positions and effect transactions in the securities mentioned herein.