Categorized | National News

Labour Force Grows–Unemployment Dips To 12.7 Per Cent

The country’s labour force grew by 1.7 per cent, leaving fewer people on the unemployment line.
Preliminary figures from the Department of Statistics latest Labour Force and Household Income Survey show that since last November, some 7,540 people have found jobs, bringing the total number of working individuals to 215,880.

The uptick led to a reduction in the jobless rate, which is now pegged at 3,855 people.

“This resulted in the unemployment declining from 14.8 per cent to 12.7 per cent,” Senior Statistician Cyprenna Winters announced during a press briefing on Friday.

Ms. Winters attributed the decrease to a number of factors, chief among them the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

A 26 per cent increase in the manufacturing sector also helped. The department found that this accounted for four per cent of total employment.

The community, social and personal industry, which includes the civil service, police service and domestic service accounts for another 36 per cent of the workforce, the country’s largest employer.

“Among the employed labour force, there were more men than women. However, in all the islands – except Abaco – men were fewer in numbers among the unemployed labour force,” Ms. Winters added.

But, despite New Providence’s jobless figure sliding from 15.9 per cent last November to 13.2 per cent this past May, a growing number of Family Island residents are still struggling to find work.

In Grand Bahama, this figure stands at 14.7 per cent and in Abaco, 10.1 per cent.
“The rates in Grand Bahama and Abaco edged up by 0.5 and 0.4 percentage points, respectively,” Ms. Winters explained.

Despite a “noticeable” decline from 30 per cent to 25.8 per cent, unemployment among young people (15 to 24 years) remains “considerably high” as well.

In terms of gender, men continue to outnumber women on the unemployment line.

Figures show that 111,065 men are out of work compared to 104,815 females.

Further, the number of discouraged workers – those who do not look for work because they believe there are no jobs for them – dropped by 10 per cent.

The survey also found that 62% of the labour force was engaged by the private sector.

Additional data show that there was a seven per cent increase in self-employed persons.

The department has stressed that as the results are preliminary, further analysis is needed.

The need for more jobs and which political party can guarantee them will play a pivotal role in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.

For its part, the government has touted a number of projects in the pipeline that will lead to greater employment.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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