Sat | Dec 4, 2021

Labour force up by eight per cent

Published:Thursday | October 21, 2021 | 12:08 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Carol Coy
Carol Coy

Jamaica’s employed labour force grew by 8.3 per cent in July, according to the latest data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The July 2021 Labour Force Survey (LFS) found that more than 1.2 million (1,215,000) Jamaicans were in the employed labour force. That is 93,400 more when compared to July 2020.

The LFS measures the number of persons employed, unemployed, and those outside the labour force as at the reference week, STATIN said, adding that the survey does not measure the number of jobs created.

In a quarterly press briefing yesterday, director general Carol Coy said that the number of employed males and females increased by nine per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.

Employment in the construction sector, real estate, and other business services sector accounted for more than half of the increase in the employed labour force.

A total of 118,300 people are employed in construction, marking an increase of 26,100 workers, or 28.3 per cent.

The second highest increase was recorded in the real estate and other business-services sector, with 21,500 more workers employed in that group.

Females accounted for the largest increase in the industry which employs 115,100 Jamaicans.

The other industry groups with notable increases were accommodation and food-service activities (17,800); agriculture, forestry, and fishing (6,200); and wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, and motorcycles (5,500).

Data released by STATIN also indicated that there were 112,500 unemployed Jamaicans, a decline of 30.4 per cent or 49,200 people.

Male unemployment fell by 43.4 per cent, while female unemployment was reduced by 17.5 per cent.

Coy explained that youth unemployment, ages 14-24, was also on the decline, standing at 23.9 per cent.

“This is 6.4 percentage points lower than in July 2020, when it was 30.3 per cent. In July 2021, the unemployment rate for male youth was 18.4 per cent, and for females, the rate was 30.8 per cent,” the director general detailed.

Some 767,500 Jamaicans are outside of the labour force, a 5.2 per cent decline, when compared to last year.

“These individuals are neither employed nor unemployed. Males outside the labour force declined by eight per cent, while females declined by 4.6 per cent,” Coy said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com