Unemployment drops to 7.8 percent in Jamaica

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Director-General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy, Wednesday (July 17) quarterly briefing [Photo: Dave Reid]

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) –The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting a further reduction in the unemployment rate to a new record low of 7.8 percent.

As contained in STATIN’s April 2019 Labour Force Survey, the figure is two percentage points lower than the 9.8 percent recorded for the corresponding period last year, and 0.2 percent lower than the out-turn for January.

Director-General, Carol Coy, said the number of unemployed persons as at April fell by 25,900 or 19.7 percent to 105,900, relative to 2018.

“Male unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points to 5.5 percent, while the corresponding figure for females fell by 2.1 percentage points to 10.6 percent.

“The number of unemployed males decreased by 13,000 to 39,900 in April 2019. Over the same period, the number of unemployed females was 65,600; this was a decline of 12,900,” Coy said.

“Unemployment rate for youth, aged 14 to 24, fell by 6.4 percentage points from 25.9 percent in April 2018, to 19.5 percent this year. The unemployment rate for male youth declined by 6.4 percentage points to 14.5 percent, while the rate for female youth declined by 6.6 percentage points to 25.8 percent, Coy stated.

Additional factors point to an overall employed labor force increased by 29,900 persons or 2.5 percent to 1,244,500, over the 1,214,600 for April 2018, indicated that the number of employed males rose by 18,200 persons to 691,500, while the number of females in jobs increased by 11,700 to 553,000.

The total labor force increased to 1,349,900 persons, which is 4,000 more than in 2018. In addition, the number of males qualifying for jobs rose by 5,200 persons to 731,400, while the corresponding figure for females decreased by 1,200 to 618,500 in April 2019.

Meanwhile, Coy advised that 736,900 persons were classified as being outside the labor force in April 2019.

The number was 4,800 or 0.7 percent fewer than the out-turn in April 2018 and was predominantly males.

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