The Minster of Finance and the Public Service, the Honourable Audley Shaw, has hailed the continued decrease in the country’s unemployment rate as a positive reflection of the current sprout of financial growth.
Minister Shaw made his comments in the face of the most recently released figures of the Labour Force Survey produced by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) for July 2018.
The Survey showed unemployment fell to 11.3 per cent compared with 12.9 per cent in July 2016. The current rate is also a decrease from the 12.2 per cent record in April this year.
Speaking to the Survey, Minister Shaw said the current trend of increased employment solidifies the government’s resolve, even further, to forge ahead with its economic growth and job creation agenda.
“We continue to see shoots of economic growth. Jobs in the Business Process and Outsourcing (BPO) and other sectors have also increased. More young people are now able to get jobs. Certainly these are an indication of the government’s growth target,” Minister Shaw said.
He noted that despite weather-related setbacks, economic growth is still expected to be between 1.5 and 2 per cent in the current financial year. This, coupled with the decrease in private sector debt – an indication that companies are now able to produce more and rely less on loan funding to support their production and growth- are further signs of the recovering economy.
Minister Shaw further noted that the Government has maintained a near balance budget, and is on track to reduce the public debt to 107.1% of GDP at the end of this financial year.
The STATIN report also outlined that the number of persons in the labour force in July 2017, was 1,371,200 persons, representing an increase of 8,000 (0.6 per cent) when compared with the 1,363,200 recorded in July 2016.
The male labour force increased by 3,300 (0.5 per cent) to 735,900 in July 2017 and the female labour force increased by 4,700 (0.8 per cent) to 635,300, STATIN also said.
Unemployment among youths also declined to 27.5 per cent, which represents a decrease of 2.1 percentage points when compared to the rate of 29.6 per cent in July 2016, STATIN said.
Youth employment continued its growth path in a range of sectors such as agriculture, tourism and construction.
Communication Advisor to the Minister of Finance and the Public Service
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Kingston 4, Jamaica W.I.
Tel: (876) 932-5503
CUG: (876) 542-4422