UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED by 0.5 per cent between 2004 and 2005, according to the latest report from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.
The 2005 Labour Force report, tabled in Parliament last week, indicated that the unemployed labour force stood at 130,300 persons or 10.9 per cent in October 2005.
The unemployment rate was 7.4 per cent for males and 15.3 per cent for females. The corresponding rates for October 2004 were 11.4, 8.1 and 15.7 per cent respectively.
LABOUR FORCE DECLINE
According to the report, the Jamaican labour force declined by 2,500 persons between 2004 and 2005.
"In October 2005, there were 1,193,000 persons in the Jamaican labour force," the document said. "This represented a decline of ... 0.2 per cent over a 12-month period, as in October 2004, the labour force stood at 1,195,000."
The report also stated, however, that, in contrast, the working age population (14 years and over) increased by 7,400 or 0.4 per cent over the same period. It said the working age population has moved from 1,860,600 in October 2004 to 1,868,000 in October 2005.
"The labour force participation rate, labour force as a percentage of the population 14 years and over, was 63.9 per cent in October 2005, down from 64.3 per cent in October 2004," the report said.
The labour force is defined as all employed persons, as well as persons who, although unemployed, were looking for work or wanted work and were in a position to accept work.