Working age Jamaicans now almost at 70% of population – PIOJ
Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr Wayne Henry, has indicated that persons falling within the country’s working-age range of 15 to 64 years now stand at 69.7 per cent of the overall population of 2.9 million.
Henry says this represents the largest figure ever attained in Jamaica’s history and creates a window of opportunity for the country, often referred to as a demographic dividend.
“The demographic dividend is the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population is disproportionately larger than the dependent population… that is, persons 14 years and younger as well as those 65 years and older,” he outlined.
Henry was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly briefing at the Institute’s head office in New Kingston on Tuesday.
He noted that an increase in the working-age population, relative to dependents, provides Jamaica with a “tremendous opportunity” to boost economic growth.
This, he said, through increased labour force participation and employment, particularly for groups deemed typically under-represented such as youth, women and persons with disabilities; increased allocation of resources towards savings rather than consumption, as the dependency ratio falls, thereby facilitating investments and growth; and human capital development through the provision of more resources towards strengthening education and health outcomes, “which will contribute to the increased productivity of the labour force”.