‘We do not want to work’ 6,900 more persons choose not to seek employment

February 22, 2019
The unemployent rate in the highest since 1968.
The unemployent rate in the highest since 1968.

Nearly 7,000 unemployed Jamaicans have declared that they have no desire to find work. This is according to the latest Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) Labour Force Survey.

Dr Wayne Henry, director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), said the latest survey found an increase of 10,600 persons outside the labour force. These are persons of working age who are actively searching for work.

Dr Henry said among the reasons cited for the increased number of persons outside the labour force were 6,900 more persons who indicated that they 'did not want to work', 3,700 more who said they were 'staying home with dependents', and another 1,400 who advised that they were 'at school full-time'.

"The unemployed labour force amounted to 115,600 persons, which was 25,000 fewer persons compared with October 2017," he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Labour Force Survey has indicated that the annual average unemployment rate has been reduced to 9.1 per cent, the lowest recorded since 1968. The total number of employed persons increased by 14,400 to 1,219,700 as at October 2018, relative to the corresponding period in 2017.

Dr Henry said the survey showed that eight of the 16 industry groups recorded higher employment levels. These include real estate, renting and business activities, up 9,700 persons; hotels and restaurants, up 5,400 persons; other community, social and personal services activities, up 4.700 persons; and mining and quarrying, up 3,500 persons.

Female unemployment fell by the largest margin - 2.9 per cent - to 11.2 per cent; the rate for males declined by 0.9 per cent to 6.4 per cent; while youth (14 to 24 years) unemployment fell by 0.5 percentage points to 24.9 per cent, relative to October 2017.

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