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Employment in Jamaica at all-time high

August 18th, 2017 | Tags:
Data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) shows that the number of persons securing employment peaked at a historic 1,204,800 in April 2017, which was 35,800 more than the 1,169,000 persons employed in April 2016. Photo: CARIBBEAN360

KINGSTON, Jamaica – More Jamaicans are now employed than at any other period in the country’s history.

Data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) shows that the number of persons securing employment peaked at a historic 1,204,800 in April 2017, which was 35,800 more than the 1,169,000 persons employed in April 2016.

The out-turn bettered the employment level of 1,187,000 in July 2016, when the country recorded the lowest unemployment figures in five years and the highest employment level for a single month since October 2008, when 1,174,500 persons had jobs.

STATIN data also showed that the unemployment rate fell by a further 1.5 per cent in April 2017 to 12.2 per cent relative to April 2016. This translated into a reduction in the number of persons who were unemployed from 184,900 in April 2016 to 166,700 in April 2017.

These positive indications for the labour market are a significant improvement over the period October 2008 to July 2011 when more than 90 000 jobs were lost, stemming from the impact of the global economic crisis.

With respect to employment by industry, 11 of the 16 industries recorded higher levels of employment between April 2016 and April 2017.

Of the total employed labour force, the number of males securing work moved from 659,700 to 670,400, while the number of employed females also increased from 512,400 to 534,400.

Senior Technical Advisor at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Rochelle Whyte attributes the positive labour market trends to the ongoing implementation of economic reform measures by the Government.

She cited, among other things, business environment reforms; implementation of strategic investment projects; development of new industries; and a general improvement in Jamaica’s overall macroeconomic stability.

Whyte said these out-turns now position Jamaica “above that pre-(financial) crisis level with respect to employment”.

The PIOJ official further argued that Jamaica’s economic fundamentals continue to improve consequent on ongoing implementation of economic reform measures by the Government.

In addition to the increasing employment levels, the positive economic out-turns are reflected in declining inflation that fell to a 50-year low of 1.7 per cent in 2016, bringing the figure closer to that of Jamaica’s main trading partners, such as the United States, and which the Government expects will range between four and six per cent for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

The debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is also significantly lower.

Whyte said this situation “augurs well for our competitiveness and also protect the most vulnerable from reduced purchasing power”.

She noted that while the PIOJ forecasts medium-term growth ranging between two and three per cent, “if the Government can efficiently implement its strategic priorities and with support from the private sector, then the rate of growth can be above these baseline projections”.

Meanwhile, Principal Director for the Fiscal Monitoring Unit in the Finance Ministry, Trevor Anderson, concurred that the improved employment levels reflect ongoing improvements in the economy.

He also cited increasing net international reserves, slowed depreciation of the Jamaican dollar, accelerated growth at 1.3 per cent for the 2016/17 fiscal year, the latter of which he said “reflects the largest economic expansion since fiscal year 2007/08”.

Anderson further pointed to the positive impact of the fiscal governance policy to reducing the fiscal deficit and also the increase in the primary budgetary surplus as a percentage of GDP.

“These developments continue to positively impact business and consumer confidence, which have remained at very high levels. The Government, through prudent fiscal policy, is steadfastly committed to reducing the public debt, accelerating economic growth, and delivering a better quality of life for all Jamaicans,” he added.

16 Responses to “Employment in Jamaica at all-time high”

  • son of the soil (19/08/2017, 01:53) Like (15) Dislike (9) Reply
    okay ayo go back home now
    • @son of the soil (21/08/2017, 15:37) Like (7) Dislike (19) Reply
      if we go your country will become nothing because lazy virgin islanders don't want to work ayo feel ayo entitled to things. at least Jamaica employment level going up. where is the bvi??????????
      • Ajic (22/08/2017, 05:02) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
        You all keep fooling yourself that we can't do without you...
      • @ Jamaican (25/08/2017, 08:57) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
        Im a BVIslander and im working two jobs. Im not lazy, ayo Jamaicans are ungrateful and badminded set of people. no wonder nobody like ayo, time to return to your country so that other BVIslanders like myself can get jobs.
      • Freedom of speech (30/08/2017, 12:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        Before you came we existed and after you leave we will continue to do the same. So keep your opinion to yourself.
    • After Irma (21/09/2017, 00:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well they'll certainly leave now, hope youre happy :)
  • Oh My (21/08/2017, 09:18) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Hmm (22/08/2017, 16:48) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
    Lets not get on like this. The truth is we both need each other if expats go how will mortgages get pay. Who will rent the apartments because most people live home. Living here the crime is low and kids are safer. The BVI is a wonderful place.
  • we (24/08/2017, 17:44) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    are/were programmed to hate ourselves and each other, personally and regionally. Until we become aware of that psychological problem existing within us, we will not make head way in conquering it.

    Hence, we will continue to speak ill of our brothers and sisters of the diaspora, and like crabs in barrel, stopping each other from moving up and progressing.

    The racist do not care if you are Jamaican or Tortolian. He sees one color people which hates, all shades of brown.

    Truths. Now watch him post a hundred "dislikes" now. He has a difficult time seeing and acknowledging personal and historical tedious truths about himself.

    We must stop hating each other and begin welcoming and helping each other rise up.
    • big daddy (29/08/2017, 13:59) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
      Who is programming you and how are they doing it? Please provide some specific information so that this destructive "programming" may be stopped.

      YOU are the racists here. Perhaps you should consider helping, welcoming, and loving all no matter the color of their skin.
  • Bull Dawg (29/08/2017, 10:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think if all Caucasians can get along all blacks / negroes should get along also.
    Its just a shame that they cant.
  • hold up (29/08/2017, 15:10) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    hi Bull Dawg, no one hate each other like the causcasians,except they spread their lies like wild fire. take a good look of all those real life shows of crimes. who do you think commit the most vicious crime against each others. it is not the blacks. The way you all think, you are a walking advertisement for the devil.
  • Interested (29/08/2017, 18:19) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    So can they all please return home ?
  • selfish (30/08/2017, 14:38) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    WE can go back home. Our country wont refuse us. But instead of you targeting Jamaicans, you need to be targeting the BVI landers who gave us the authorization to be here. If you all want us to leave so bad.... you all need to pick up this issue with the people of the BVI who hired us and immigration who gave us the opportunity to be here.

    I am a BORN Jamaican with a BVI passport. So no matter how much you guys hate us some of us can come and go from here as we please. #selfish

  • Just Sayin (10/09/2017, 00:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    If there ever was a time, for all people to come together, it definitely is now.

  • He who has eyes to see (25/09/2017, 17:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was wondering when the post Irma "Cumbaya" moment was going to pass. I see it's passsing. Fact of the matter is we are all dependent on one another. Too bad in the BVI it's hard for everyone to see that...the white expats got their cliques and their agendas, the Tolians, well, they have been kept in the dark by wanna be politrickcians and so-called religous leaders, and our brothers and sisters from the other islands who arrive on the BVIs to fulfill jobs that need to be fulfilled, are met with hate and anger. No one bothered to tell them that Nature's Little Secret is actually a hotbed of greed, deviance and corruption, and they, as "downislanders" are going to take the brunt of the finger pointing. I'm sure if they knew all that, they would have stayed on their islands and leave BVIs to the expats and BVIslanders. And don't get it twisted, I am an 8th generation BVIslander on both sides of the fence. Even have a birth certificate and BVI passport to prove it.

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