Unemployment experiences marginal declines in JA

Some good news on the employment front: more people are working, including youth. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica reports that the unemployment rate has decreased from 16.3 per cent in April of 2013 to 13.6 per cent in April of this year. Even better, the youth unemployment rate (which has been as high as 40 per cent) has decreased to 33.6 per cent over the same period.

A further breakdown of the unemployment figures for youth show a 26.2 per cent unemployment rate for males compared to 43.9 per cent for females.

This information is released regularly by Statin, and while it provides numbers, there is little analysis. I wonder why employment is improving, as several other indicators are not (the value of the dollar, inflation). I am not an economist, of course, just curious to know why more people, especially youth, are working now.

Broken down further, it seems that the gains are coming in the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as transport, communication and storage. Declines were seen in craft and trade workers, so we can assume that construction could be slowing down.

More from Statin, which says that 25,700 more people are working this year compared to the same time last year, which represents an increase of 4.8 per cent:

when compared to the corresponding period last year, which saw the employment figure at 1,107,300.

Of the 25,700 persons added to the work force, females accounted for 14,400 (3.0 per cent), while 11,300 were males, an increase of 1.8 per cent over last year.

The report outlined that the employment rate for the April 2014 period was 86.4 per cent. This was an increase of 2.7 per cent over the 83.7 per cent recorded in April 2013.

It also noted that more persons were employed in elementary occupations. This number increased to 159,900 persons, moving from 141,700 in April 2013.

Increases were also observed in the number of persons being employed as professionals, senior officials and technicians. The figure increased from 241,900 persons in April 2013 to 251,700 persons in April 2014.

Good news as people get back to work after the Independence Day holiday.

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