Jamaica’s Unemployment Rate for January 2021 rose to 8.9%

April 16, 2021

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), as at January 2021, there were 1,194,800 employed persons. This was 74,300 or 5.9% less than the number of persons when compared to January 2020. The unemployment rate amounted to 8.9%, which was 1.5 percentage points higher than the rate in January 2020.  The unemployment rate for males increased by 1.6 percentage points to 7.6%. For females, the rate increased by 1.4 percentage points to 10.4% when compared to January 2020.

Notably, the largest decline in employment by occupation was among ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’, while the industry with the largest decline in employment was ‘Accommodation and Food Service Activities’.

The Labour force in January 2021 had 1,310,900 persons, a decline of 58,600 or 4.3% relative to January 2021. The male labour force decreased by 23,900 (3.3%) to 709,800 and the female labour force by 34,700 (5.5%) to 601,100 in January 2021.

The Employed Labour Force had 1,194,800 persons; 74,300 fewer persons when compared to January 2020, representing a 5.9% decline. There were 656,200 employed males, which was 34,100 or 4.9% less than in January 2020, while the number of employed females decreased by 40,200 or 6.9% to 538,600 in January 2021.

The occupation group ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ saw a 12.9% contraction in January 2021. There were 23,900 fewer women employed in this group. While the number of employed persons in the group ‘Craft and Related Trades Workers’ also decreased by 9.3%. Markedly, males accounted for the majority of the decline (13,600).

Declines in employment were observed in the industry groups ‘Accommodation and Food Service Activities’, ‘Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Other Services’ and ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles’. They each contracted by 24.7%, 14.5% and 5.9% respectively. Conversely, the number of persons employed in ‘Construction’ increased by 7.2% to in January 2021, males accounted for the increase in employment in this industry.

The number of unemployed persons in January 2021 was 116,100, an 15.6% increase compared to January 2020. The number of unemployed males was 53,600, a 23.5% increase while the number of unemployed females was 62,500, an increase of 9.6%. The number of unemployed youths age 14 -24 years was 45,200, an increase of 13.0%.

The youth unemployment rate for persons aged 14-24 years was 22.8% in January 2021, 3.8 percentage points higher than in January 2020. The unemployment rate for male youth in January 2021 was 19.6% compared to 17.5% in January 2020. The unemployment rate for female youth was 26.9% in January 2021 compared to 20.9% in January 2020.

The number of persons Outside the Labour Force was 775,100 in January 2021, an 8.1% increase compared to 717,000 in January 2020. The number of males outside the labour force increased by 8.2% to 314,100 and females by 8.1% to end at 461,000 in January 2021.




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