JAMAICA | Over 1.2 Million In Jobs, construction up, Agriculture, Manufacture, down

Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy,

KINGSTON, Jamaica July 17, 2021 - The number of Jamaicans in jobs, as at April 2021, totalled approximately 1,206,000. This is 40,500 fewer or 3.2 per cent lower than the corresponding period in 2019, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) April 2021 Labour Force Survey.

Details of the survey were outlined by Director General, Carol Coy, during STATIN’s digital quarterly briefing, on Thursday (July 15).

Ms. Coy advised that no Labour Force Survey was conducted in April 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As such, the April 2021 findings were compared with the out-turns for the corresponding timeline in 2019.

The Institute also reports that the unemployment rate rose marginally by 0.1 percentage point to nine per cent in April 2021, relative to January.

The out-turns recorded in this category over the last 18 months were January 2020 – 7.3 per cent, July 2020 – 12.6 per cent, October 2020 – 10.7 per cent, and January 2021 – 8.9 per cent.

Ms. Coy said based on the April survey, the number of employed males decreased by 30,600 persons or 4.4 per cent to 661,900, while the corresponding figure for females fell by 9,900 or 1.8 per cent, to 544,100.

She also advised that the number of unemployed persons increased by 14,200 or 13.5 per cent, to 119,400.

The Director General informed that the number of unemployed males rose by 34.2 per cent to 53,400, while the female equivalent increased to 66,000, up from 65,400 in April 2019.

She added that the overall male unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent, while the female out-turn totalled 10.8 per cent.

Ms. Coy said the unemployment rate for youth, 14-24 years, was 24 per cent, some 4.6 percentage points higher than the 19.4 per cent recorded in April 2019.

“In April 2021, the unemployment rate for male youth was 21.1 per cent, and for females the rate was 28 per cent,” she told journalists.

The  size of the overall labour force decreased by 26,300 persons, or 1.9 per cent, to 1,325,400, with the number of males totalling 715,300, and females, 610,100.

“Compared to April 2019, the male labour force declined by 17,000 [or 2.3 per cent] and the female labour force, by 9,300 [or 1.5 per cent],” the Director General pointed out.

The total number of persons classified as being outside the labour force in April 2021 was 769,000.

This, according to Ms. Coy, was 30,900 persons or 4.2 per cent more, compared to April 2019.

“There were 312,700 males and 456,300 females outside the labour force [representing] an increase of 19,300 [or 6.6 per cent] males and 11,600 [or 2.6 per cent] females, relative to April 2019,” she added.

In the meantime, the Statistical Institute s reporting that higher outputs in construction, and mining and quarrying, largely spurred the goods producing industry’s 2.6 per cent growth for the January-March 2021 quarter.

Director-General says construction grew by 10.5 per cent, and mining and quarrying, 7.1 per cent during the review period, while  conversely, the other two subsectors – agriculture, forestry and fishing, and manufacturing – declined by two per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.

“The decline in agriculture was due, in part, to dry conditions in some of the major producing areas, coupled with the aftermath of damage sustained to agricultural lands [consequent on] heavy rainfall which occurred in the fourth quarter of 2020,” she said.

Meanwhile, all subsectors in the services industry except for the ‘producers of government services’, recorded declines.

Ms. Coy said the main contributors to the contraction were hotels and restaurants, down 55.9 per cent; transport, storage and communication, down 7.8 per cent; and wholesale and retail trade, repairs, installation of machinery and equipment, down 5.1 per cent.

The Director-General advised that the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and measures implemented locally and globally to curtail transmission during the review period, continued to negatively impact the economy.

She said this was evident in the 6.7 per cent decline in total value added over the quarter, relative to the corresponding period in 2020. This was primarily due to a 9.9 per cent decline in the services industry.

“This was also reflected in the seasonally adjusted value-added, which grew by 0.6 per cent when the performance of the economy in the first quarter of 2021 is compared to that of the fourth quarter of 2020,” Ms. Coy said.

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