54,000 Jamaicans joined the unemployment line
By Durrant Pate
The country’s unemployment rate has jumped by 4.8 per cent as 54,600 Jamaicans have joined the unemployment line based on the latest Labour Force Survey put out by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).
STATIN is reporting that the July 2020 survey showed that the unemployment rate increased to 12.6 per cent, 4.8 percentage points higher than July 2019. In July 2020, the number of unemployed persons was 161,300, an increase of 54,600 (51.2 per cent) when compared to July 2019.
The number of unemployed males was 80,500, an increase of 37,800, while the number of unemployed females was 80,800, up by 16,800 in July 2020 compared to 64,000 in July 2019. In July 2020, the unemployment rate for male youth was 28.5 per cent compared to 16.8 per cent in July 2019.
For females, the rate was 33.1 per cent in July 2020, which was 8.6 percentage points higher than the rate in July 2019. There were 15,700 more unemployed youth in July 2020 compared to July 2019.
Unemployment rate for both men and women increased
The unemployment rate increased for both men and women as rate for males jumped to 11.5 per cent and females went up to 14.0 per cent. The unemployment rate for youths in the age group 14 – 24 years increased.
The unemployment rate for youth aged 14-24 was 30.4 per cent in July 2020 when compared to the rate of 20.2 per cent in July 2019. There was an increase in the number of persons outside the labour force, which totalled 80,600. This means that these eligible persons to work are not actively seeking work.
The size of the July 2020 labour force decreased over the corresponding period in 2019. In July 2020, the number of persons in the labour force was 1,279,600, a decline of 81,200 (6.0 per cent) when compared with the 1,360,800 recorded in July 2019.
The number of persons in the working-age population who were outside the labour force increased for both males and females. The number of persons outside the labour force was 806,600 in July 2020, an increase of 80,600 (11.1 per cent) when compared to July 2019.
STATIN reports that in July 2020, the employed labour force was 1,118,300 owing to 135,800 fewer persons when compared to July 2019. Males accounted for a little over one-half of the decline. The largest decline for males was in the occupation groups ‘Elementary Occupations’ and ‘Crafts and Related Trades Workers’ while for females, it was ‘Service Workers, Shop and Market Sales Workers’ and ‘Elementary Occupations’.
Male Labour Force
The male labour force decreased by 35,300 (4.8 per cent) to 700,600 in July 2020, and the female labour force decreased by 45,900 (7.3 per cent) to 579,000. There was a larger decrease in the number of employed males.
In July 2020, 1,118,300 employed persons worked for at least one hour in the reference week. This was 135,800 (10.8 per cent) fewer employed persons than the 1,254,100, recorded in July 2019.
Males accounted for 53.8 per cent of the decrease in the employed labour force. The number of employed males decreased by 73,100 (10.5 per cent) to 620,100 in July 2020.
In July 2020, there were 498,200 employed females, which were 62,700 (11.2 per cent) less than the 560,900 recorded in July 2019. The number of employed youth aged 14 to 24 years declined by 35,900 to 134,600 in July 2020.
The occupation group ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ had the largest decrease in the number of persons employed followed by ‘Elementary Occupations’. There was a decline of 45,100 persons (15.6 per cent) in the occupation group ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’ to 244,000 in July 2020.
The group ‘Elementary Occupations’ also decreased by 39,000 persons from 169,200 in July 2019 to 130,200 in July 2020. Employment numbers decreased in all occupation groups for males. The largest decline was in ‘Elementary Occupations’ by 20,500 (23.0 per cent) followed by ‘Crafts and Related Trades Workers’ by 16,800 (11.5 per cent).
Declines in female professional groupings
For females, the largest decline was in ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’, by 33,100 (18.1 per cent), followed by ‘Elementary Occupations’ – 18,500 (23.1 per cent). There was increased employment for females by (6,600 or 4.1 per cent) in the occupation group ‘Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians’.