Wed | Jan 27, 2021

STATIN: Employment grew by 3% in January

Published:Friday | April 17, 2020 | 12:20 AMKarena Bennett/Business Reporter

Jamaica’s employed labour force grew three per cent to 1,269,100 for the month of January, according to the latest data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The largest increase in employment was recorded in the occupation group ‘service workers, shop and market sales workers’. A total of 301,500 persons are employed to this group, marking an increase of 22,700 persons, or 8.1 per cent, year over year.

The second-highest increase was seen in the ‘professionals, senior officials, and technicians’ group, with 8,200 persons more workers employed in that category. Females accounted for the larger share of employment in both occupation groups.

Data released by STATIN during a press briefing yesterday also indicated that Jamaica recorded an unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent for the month while youth unemployment was 19 per cent. Jamaica’s labour force at as January stood at 1,369,500, of which 54.4 per cent were males and 45.6 per cent females.

DATA COLLECTION CANCELLED

Meanwhile, Director General of STATIN Carol Coy has announced the cancellation of labour force data-collection activities for April and the postponement of research for the 2020 Survey on Living Conditions in an attempt to protect its staff and the wider population from the deadly coronavirus.

Data collection on Jamaica’s labour force was scheduled for a six-week period commencing April, while the data-collection exercises for the 2020 Survey on Living Conditions was scheduled for June.

Coy said that STATIN was now exploring the possibility of adding a COVID-19 model for the labour force survey in July 2020, but that may only contain labour force data from the formal sector of the economy.

“For the informal sector, it’s going to be difficult to get data out of administrative sources on this because a significant portion of them is outside of the government database. But we are trying within this research to see how we can provide Jamaicans with an idea of what is happening on the employment side,” Coy said.

The labour force data measures the number of persons employed, unemployed, and those outside of the labour force. It does not measure the number of jobs created.

STATIN noted that it is now exploring all options to have the successful execution of the Living Conditions Survey in 2020 and that plans are in place to have data on Jamaica’s GDP performance for the January to March 2020 quarter released between end-June or the first week of July.

For the fourth-quarter period of October to December 2019, total value added for the Jamaican economy was $197 billion, a marginal dip of 0.04 per cent when compared to $197 billion for the corresponding quarter of 2018.

The services industries grew by 1.2 per cent while the goods-producing industries declined by 3.7 per cent, largely due to the mining and quarrying industry as well as construction declining by 40.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com