Categorized | National News

Unemployment Increases

 The unemployment rate in the Bahamas has increased   from 10 percent to 10.7 percent as of November 2018, a 0.7 percent increase. 

Senior statisticians in The Department of Statistics say  this increase is as a result of more Bahamians being added to the labour force, over 4,000 in total.

With more than 10,000 new jobs added to the economy, between May 2017 and November 2018, Cyprianna Winters, Senior Statistician in the Department of Statistics explained that when compared to May 2018, employment rose 3.4 percent. 

“Employment rose by 2,305 in November when compared to May 2018 and reached about 211,000 persons. 

“On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 6,830 or 3.4 per cent. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate rose to 10.7 per cent, up from 10.0 per cent in May, as the number of people looking for work increased,” Mrs. Winters said. 

However, in New Providence alone, the unemployment rate increased from 10.1 per cent to 11 per cent, while Grand Bahama and Abaco saw a decline in unemployment.

“Two of the three most populated islands that were surveyed experienced decreases in their unemployment rates, and one experienced an increase. 

“At the time of the survey, the rate in Grand Bahama was 11.9 per cent; and in Abaco 7.7 per cent. 

“Among the employed labour force, there were more men (110,280) than women (100,280). However, in all the islands surveyed except Grand Bahama, men were fewer in numbers among the unemployed labour force,” Mrs. Winters added. 

Also, on the decline in the months leading to the survey were the number of discouraged workers, according to Mrs. Winters. 

“In the six months to November, the number of discouraged workers in the country declined by 6.7 per cent. Notably, the number of discouraged workers fell by 9.1 per cent in New Providence and 9.8 percent in Grand Bahama. 

“However, the number of discouraged workers in Abaco increased by 7.9 per cent, partly offsetting the overall decline. 

“Discouraged workers, according to the standard definition of the International Labour Organization (ILO), ‘are persons without work and available for work, yet were not actively seeking work because they are not hopeful about their prospects of finding work’, Mrs. Winters explained.”

In a press release following the release of the statistics, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest said the government’s target is to provide a level of growth that will rid the country of unemployment in a “sustained way.

“Our focus is on strengthening and expanding efforts to boost job growth, directly and indirectly, by investing in entrepreneurship, particularly for young Bahamians, as well as human resource development and other ways to stimulate growth in the private sector. 

“Overall, we welcome news that the unemployment rate improved in Grand Bahama and Abaco, two of the largest population centres outside of New Providence. 

“The numbers of discouraged workers also decreased, pointing to greater confidence in economic prospects among job seekers. 

“But, our target is a level of growth that will reduce unemployment in a sustained way, and will be felt evenly across the country, so the work must continue and intensify,” Mr. Turnquest said. 

According to the survey, “Employment gains were driven by private sector employees which increased by 3.8 percent to 135,135 persons when compared to May. Additionally, the number of self-employed persons stood at 32,475, an increase of 11.9 percent since May”.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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