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Jobs market shrinks for third straight year

Published:Friday | April 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Bermuda suffered a two per cent decline in the number of jobs last year with expatriates bearing the brunt of the losses, according to a new government report.

It is the third straight year of sharp decline in the British overseas territory's jobs market.

The island, whose national debt has ballooned to US$1.25 billion, has been in recession for four years.

The report issued by the Department of Statistics on Wednesday showed 698 fewer jobs in 2011 than in 2010, representing a two per cent drop.

Bermuda had a peak employment of 40,213 jobs in 2008 - the number dropped to 37,399 in 2011.

The report said of the 698 jobs lost, 691 were expatriate workers and 60 Bermudians, while spouses of Bermudians (plus 30) and permanent residence holders (plus 23) increased their job counts.

Of the 698 jobs lost in 2011, there was no net change in the number filled by black workers. However, there were significant losses among workers who classified themselves as white, mixed and other races. The two groups reported net losses of 387 and 310 jobs, respectively.

Women were less likely to lose their job than men in 2011, as 90 per cent of the 698 seeking new employment were men.

The main reason for that was the construction industry lost 493 jobs in 2011.

A slight increase in air travellers saw the number of hotel jobs increase by 131.

The real estate sector lost 14 per cent of its filled jobs due to the slumping market.

The number of jobs in the international business sector declined from 4,287 to 4,077.