Jamaica Records Historic Low in Unemployment Figures

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) says  Jamaica’s unemployment rate for October 2023  declined to a historic low of 4.2 per cent.

Cheerful African American employee working in modern officeIt said that 1, 320, 000 Jamaicans were employed in October last year, the highest number of people employed in the country’s history, overtaking the previous record set in July 2023.

SATIN said that the October unemployment rate is an improvement on the 4.5 percent that was recorded in both April and July 2023.

STATIN, in its October 2023 Labour Force Survey findings released here, said that the latest findings were compared with the October 2021 survey results to indicate the changes that have occurred.

It said this was due to the fact that a labour force survey was not undertaken in October 2022 because of the implementation of the no long delayed 2022 Population & Housing Census.

Based on the latest labor force survey, there were 1,320,400 employed people in Jamaica in October, 85,600 more workers relative to October 2021.

STATIN said the unemployment rate of 4.2 percent is 2.9 percentage points lower than the 7.1 percent in October 2021, 0.3 percentage points lower than April 2023 and 0.4 percentage points lower than July 2023.

Of note is that the unemployment rate for males during the period was 3.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in October 2021 and 5.4 percent for females, down from 9.0 in the comparable quarter of 2021.

The unemployment rate for young people between the ages 14-24 years was 12.6 percent, a difference of 6.3 percentage points when compared to 18.9 percent in October 2021. This was 0.4 percentage points higher than April 2023 and 0.6 percentage points lower than July 2023.

STATIN noted that in October 2023, the unemployment rate for males 14 to 24 years was 9.9 percent and 15.9 percent for females within the same age group.

STATIN also indicated that there has been a decrease in the number of people outside the labor force, putting the number at highlighted at 724,600, which is 42,300 or 5.5 percent fewer people when compared to 766,900 in October 2021.

In April there were 1,100 fewer persons outside the labour force, while there were 1,800 more persons outside the labour force in July 2023.

STATIN said the largest increase in employment by occupation group was in ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Workers’. The largest increases by industry group were in ‘Real Estate and Other Business Services’ and ‘Construction.