Categorized | National News

Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.9%

The Department of Statistics released its unemployment statistics last week which revealed that the unemployment rate in The Bahamas has dropped by 1.7 percent from 11.6 percent to 9.9 percent.

The drop is due to the increased number of employed people which now sits at 7,770 versus a decreased number of unemployed people which translates into 3,485.

At the Department of Statistics headquarters, Statistician Cypreanna Winters gave the following breakdown.

“The three most populated islands that were surveyed experienced decreases in their unemployment rates. At the time of the survey (April 24 – 30, 2017) the rate in New Providence was 10.4 percent; in Grand Bahama, 12.4 percent, and Abaco 7.8 percent,” she said.

“When examined by industry, the “community, social and personal service” industry which includes the civil service, police service and the domestic services posted a 29.1 percent increase in employment; hotels and restaurants posted 26.2 percent increase and construction posted 20.0 percent increase.”

According to Ms. Winters, the private sector absorbed most of the new jobs since November 2016.

As for demographics, she gave reporters a better idea of what statisticians found.

“Among the employed labour force, there were more men than women. However, in all the islands surveyed except Abaco, men were fewer in numbers among the unemployed labour force,” she said.

“Unemployment among youths (15-24 years) in the country continued to be considerably higher than any other age group which is common to most countries. However, there was a slight decline in the rate from 25.1 percent recorded in November 2016 to 24.1 percent.”

Included in the list of statistics were vulnerable employed, those are people who are not permanent, but rather on contract.

“In May 2017, vulnerable employment was 8.2 percent of total employment. During the period 2012 to 2017, the share of workers in vulnerable employment was fairly stable and ranged between 7.0 percent and 9.2 percent of the employed labour force,” she said.

“The percentage of men in this category was higher, although the percentage points differences between men and women were fairly small. These workers, as defined by ILO, are less likely to have formal work arrangements, and more likely to lack decent working conditions and are often characterized by inadequate earnings and benefits.”

The six-month period also saw a decline in the number of discouraged workers by 8.8 percent.

“New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco experienced declines in the number of discouraged workers – 11.3 percent, 8.1 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively,” she said.

“These persons, according to the standard definition of the International Labour Organization (ILO), ‘did not look for work because they believed no jobs were available for them.’”

Ms. Winters said the official figures can be expected by the end of September.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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