The country’s unemployment rate fell to a record low of 7.1 per cent for October 2021, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) Labour Force Survey for the month.
This is 0.1 percentage point lower than the previous 7.2 per cent pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) out-turn recorded in October 2019.
Carol Coy, director general of STATIN, said the October 2021 figure also represents a 3.7 percentage-point decline, relative to the corresponding period last year.
She was speaking during STATIN’s digital quarterly media briefing on Monday (January 17).
Coy said there were 32.4 per cent less unemployed persons for the review period, relative to October 2020.
“The unemployment rate for males was 5.5 per cent and nine per cent for females. The number of unemployed males and females declined by 36.2 per cent and 29.4 per cent, respectively,” she added.
The Director General further informed that youth unemployment fell by 9.3 percentage points to 18.9 per cent during the review period, with the number dipping by 17,600 persons to 37,400.
She noted that there was a larger decline in the female out-turn, down by 12.3 percentage points to 21.6 per cent. The male equivalent fell by 7.2 percentage points to 16.6 per cent.
Coy said the number of persons employed in October 2021 rose by 76,600 or 6.6 per cent to 1,234,800, up from 1,158,200 for the same period last year.
“Females recorded the larger increase… [growing] by 8.5 per cent [or 43,700 persons] to 568,600, while for employed males, the increase was 5.1 per cent [or 32,900] to 676,200,” the director general noted, adding that there were increases across all age groups.
She said the overall labour force, as at October 2021, rose by 31,400 persons or 4.2 per cent, to 1,329,100.
Females accounted for the higher upswing, rising by 3.5 per cent or 20,700 persons to 613,800. The out-turn for their male counterparts climbed by 32,900 or 5.1 per cent to 715,300.
According to STATIN, the increase of 76,600 in employment was more than twice the 31,400 recorded for the labour-force complement.
Females accounted for 57 per cent of the increase in employment, equating to 43,700.
In the meantime, there were 766,500 fewer persons outside the labour force for the review period.
Coy said the number or males and females not regarded as employed or unemployed declined by 9,500 and 19,500, respectively.