Jamaica’s Unemployment Rate for October 2019 fell to 7.2%

January 22, 2020

Total employed labour force increased by 29,200, in October 2019 compared to October 2018, with the unemployment rate amounting to 7.2% as stated by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). Of the 29,200 increase in the labour force, employment of males rose by 10,600 to 682,800, while for females an increase of 18,600 to 565,600. primarily in ‘Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security’. Female employment increased by 18,600 to 565,600 females mainly in the “Hotels & Restaurants Services’.

The increase in the number of persons employed stemmed from, “More persons employed in “Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security” and increasing employment for females in “Hotels & Restaurants Services,” according to STATIN. The occupation group that had the largest increase in the Employed Labour Force was ‘Clerks’ which rose 17,700 persons to 109,400 persons. The second-largest increase was for the occupation group ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ which climbed by 13,900.

The industry group, ‘Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security’ recorded the largest increase by 10,800 persons to 71,100 persons in October 2019 (October 2018: 60,300). Employment in ‘Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing’ declined by 6,500 persons to 188,500 persons for the period ended October 2019 relative to October 2018. Increases in male employment were observed largely in the occupation groups ‘Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security’  which rose by 6,700 males to 37,800 males in October 2019 versus 31,100 males in October 2018. Female employment had the largest increases in the  ‘Hotels & Restaurants Services’ group amounting to 67,100 females in October 2019 (October 2018: 62,300 females), a rise of 4,800.

In October 2019, the unemployment rate fell to 7.2% from 8.7% in October 2018. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 19,000 or 16.4% to 96,700 when compared to October 2018. The number of unemployed males, in particular, fell by 3,000 to 43,300 in October 2019. Moreover, the number of unemployed females was 53,400, a decline of 16,000 females relative to October 2018.

The unemployment rate for youth 14-24 years was 21.1 % in October 2019 compared to 24.9 % in October 2018. The unemployment rate for male youth declined by 3.6% to 18.2%, while the rate for female youth declined to 3.9% to 24.7% in October 2019.

According to STATIN, “The 741,500 persons classified as being Outside the Labour Force in October 2019 was 10,800 (1.4%) less than the 752,300 in October 2018.” The number of males outside the labour force in October 2019 declined by 7,800 males, however, the number of females fell by 3,000 to 443,500 females.

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