Employment rate continues to climb

JAMAICA’s employment level hit a new high in January, showing 1,232,700 people across the country reporting to work.

The data was revealed by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) on Wednesday during its press briefing for the January to March 2018 quarter.

Director General of the PIOJ Wayne Henry noted that the largest increases in employment were recorded in real estate renting and business activities, up 9,600 people; hotels and restaurants industry, up 8,000; wholesale and retail trade, up 6,500; and the mining and quarrying industry, up 3,300 workers.

The growth in employment comes against an estimated 1.5 per cent increase in Jamaica’s economic growth, led by the country’s mining and quarrying industry, hotel and restaurant industry, and construction industry.

The new record for employment in Jamaica was triggered by an increase of 8,400 individuals in the labour force to 1,340,200 persons, even though there was a natural decrease in the working-age population by 600 people.

“[Some] 13,000 less persons indicated that they ‘did not want work’, 7,800 less persons indicated that they were ‘at school part-time’, 6,100 less persons indicated that they were ‘incapable of work’, and 700 less persons indicated that they were ‘pregnant’,” Henry said.

Overall, the number of persons employed grew by 28,600 people, relative to January 2018.