KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 17, 2019 (CMC) – Prime Minister Andrew Holness, yesterday, welcomed the latest unemployment figures, released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), saying his administration “will continue to implement strategies to encourage significant economic growth and job creation”.
STATIN said that the unemployment rate, in January 2019, was 8.0 percent, representing a reduction of 1.6 percentage points, relative to 9.6 percent in January 2018.
It reported that the employed labour force increased by 2.4 percent, with the increase in female employment (3.5 percent) more than twice that of males (1.4 percent).
“More females were employed in the occupation groups, ‘Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians’ and ‘Clerks’. There was also an increase in the number of females employed in the industry groups, ‘Hotels and Restaurants Services’ and ‘Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities’,” STATIN added.
Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, also welcomed the figures, tweeting that the economy is “moving in the right direction” and that there was now “economic opportunity for all”.
He said the STATIN figures were “the lowest unemployment rate ever reported”, by the organisation.
According to STATIN, the employed labour force for January 2019 was 1,232,700, which was 28,600 or 2.4 percent more than in January last year.
“The increase in employment for females was more than twice that of males. The number of employed males increased by 9,500 to 673,500 and employed females by 19,100 to 559,200,” STATIN said, noting that the largest increase in employment was in the occupation group ‘Clerks’ – 12,800 persons or 15.8 percent – which moved to 94,000 in January 2019.
“Of the increase in employment in this group, females accounted for 8,300 persons. Of the seven occupation groups, there were increases in the number of persons employed in six groups. The three largest were ‘Clerks’ (12,800), ‘Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians’ (6,900) and ‘Elementary Occupations’ (6,100).”
It said more people were also employed in the real estate, renting and business activities, hotels and restaurants services.
However, the number of persons employed in ‘Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing’ decreased by 11,600 persons or 5.8 percent to 188,700 in January 2019.
The increase in male employment was largest among the groups ‘Public Administration and STATIN said that the 746,900 persons, classified as being Outside the Labour Force in January 2019, was 9,000 or 1.2 percent fewer than in January 2018. This decrease was mainly for females — a decline of 8,600.