STATIN reports slight decline in unemployment for January

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) in its labour force survey findings for January said that the period recorded an unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent which was 0.7 percentage points lower than the rate of 8.0 per cent in January last year.

Speaking at a quarterly briefing held yesterday via live stream, STATIN’s director general Carol Coy said that the employed labour force for the period saw an increase of 3.0 per cent when compared to the corresponding period last year. The total labour force for the period comprised 1,369,500 people of which 1,269,100 represented employed people while the remaining 100,400 were those unemployed.

The youth unemployment rate was at 19.0 per cent reflecting a decrease of 2.8 percentage points.

“There were 690,300 employed males in January 2020. This was an increase of 16,800 males compared to January 2019. There were 578,800 employed females in January 2020, an increase of 19,600. Males accounted for 54.4 per cent of the employed labour force and females for 45.6 per cent,” she said.

Coy indicated that the largest increase in employment was in the ‘Service Workers and Shop and Market Sales Worker’ occupation group which increased by 22,700 people or 8.1 per cent when compared to that last year.

In terms of industry, the director general said that wholesale & retail, repair of motor vehicle & equipment and real estate, renting & business activities industries were those that saw the largest increases relative to January 2019.

“The industry groups mining & quarrying and other community, social and personal service activities each decreased by 2,800 when January 2020 is compared to January 2019,” she added.

People outside of the labour force accounted for the period was 717,000 and represented a decrease of 29,900 or 4.0 per cent when compared to the same period the previous year.


Like all other organisations that have been adversely impacted, Coy also noted that data collection to acquire the statistics for the April labour force survey has been cancelled as a result of the disruptive impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision was taken in an effort to minimise the risk to our data collection staff and the households with which they interact. Therefore, labour market indicators from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) will not be available for April 2020. We are, however, exploring the possibility of adding a COVID-19 module in the July 2020 LFS, if circumstances allow,” she shared.

Other aspects of the data processing entity’s operations to be affected includes the postponement of the 2020 Survey of Living Conditions (SLC) data collection exercise scheduled for June.

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