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Unemployment rate hits new low as labour force declines

Published:Wednesday | August 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

the Statistical Institute of Jamaica has reported a marginal dip in the unemployment rate, even though jobs were shed in the period.

The 0.4 per cent decrease was enough to push the jobless rate to a five-year low of 13.2 per cent at April 2015, compared to 13.6 per cent in April 2014.

The decline was pegged to the 10,000 persons who dropped out of the labour force over the course of one year.

Statin counted the labour force at 1.301 million, down 0.8 per cent from 1.311 million recorded in April 2014. This was a combination of the persons who were counted as being among those who were no longer looking for work or had otherwise left the labour force, along with those persons who were only just coming into the world of work.

The employed labour force fell from 1.133 million to 1.129 million, indicating that the economy had shed 3,900 jobs in the period - 2,100 of which were previously held by men, and 1,800 by women.

The number of persons classified as being outside the labour force was 784,900, representing an increase of 15,000 or 1.9 per cent from 769,900 in the April 2014 survey.

The groups 'Hotels and Restaurants Services' and 'Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities' accounted for the largest increase in the number of employed persons by industry. The number of persons employed in the group 'Hotels and Restaurants Services' increased by 9,300 persons or 12 per cent, while the group 'Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities' increased by 9,000 persons or 12.9 per cent.

During the same period, the industry group 'Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing' showed a decline. There were 7,100 fewer persons in the

sector, a fall of 3.4 per cent; while 'Wholesale and Retail, Repair of Motor Vehicle and Equipment' declined by 2.9 per cent or 6,700 persons.

The rate of joblessness for young people age 14-24

continues to be high, despite a marginal decrease for the period under review. The unemployment rate was 33.2 per cent for April 2015, down from 33.6 per cent in April 2014.

The quarterly labour market survey was conducted over the period March 22-28, 2015.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com