Jamaica’s unemployment rate falls to record low 4.2% – STATIN Loop Jamaica

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Jamaica’s unemployment rate fell to a new record low of 4.2 per cent in October, down from 4.5 per cent in both April and July 2023.

This was revealed on Tuesday by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), which advised that the October 2023 Labour Force Survey findings were compared with the October 2021 survey results to indicate the changes that have occurred.

This is because a Labour Force Survey was not undertaken in October 2022 because of the implementation of the 2022 Population & Housing Census.

STATIN noted that in October 2023, there were 1,320,400 employed persons in Jamaica: 85,600 more persons relative to October 2021. It said the unemployment rate of 4.2 per cent is 2.9 percentage points lower than the 7.1 per cent in October 2021, 0.3 percentage points lower than April 2023 and 0.4 percentage points lower than July 2023.

The unemployment rate for males during the period was 3.1 per cent, down from 5.4 per cent in October 2021 and 5.4 per cent for females, down from 9.0 in the comparable quarter of 2021. The youth (14-24 years) unemployment rate was 12.6 per cent, a difference of 6.3 percentage points when compared to 18.9 per cent in October 2021. This was 0.4 percentage points higher than April 2023 and 0.6 percentage points lower than July 2023. STATIN noted that in October 2023, the unemployment rate for males 14 to 24 years was 9.9 per cent and 15.9 per cent for females within the same age group.

STATIN has also noted that at 724,600, the number of persons outside the labour force has decreased. This is 42,300 (5.5%) fewer persons compared to 766,900 in October 2021. In April there were 1,100 fewer persons outside the labour force, while there were 1,800 more persons outside the labour force in July 2023.

Meanwhile, STATIN said the largest increase in employment by occupation group was in ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’. The largest increases by industry group were in ‘Real Estate and Other Business Services’ and ‘Construction’.

The institute noted that in October 2023, there were 1,377,600 persons in the Labour Force, 48,900 or three per cent more persons than in October 2021. There were 738,900 males and 638,700 females in the labour force. The male labour force increased by 24,100 (3.4%) and the female labour force by 24,800 (4.0%).

Of the 1,320,400 persons employed in October 2023, 715,900 were males and 604,500 were females. There were 85,600 (6.9%) more employed persons relative to October 2021. There were 40,000 (5.9%) more males employed and 45,600 (8.2%) more females. The occupation group ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ had the largest increase in the number of persons employed, followed by ‘Elementary Occupations’.

According to STATIN, there were 308,400 persons employed in the largest occupation group, ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ in October 2023. This group had 31,000 more persons (11.2%) compared to October 2021. Within this occupation group, male employment increased by 13,500 (14.0%) and female employment by 17,500 (9.7%). There were 172,100 persons employed in the group ‘Elementary Occupations’. Employment in this group increased by 22,400 persons (15.0%) compared to October 2021.