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Unemployment rate in Jamaica lowest in five years

By Denise Dennis

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Unemployment in Jamaica continues to decline, with the figure at 12.9 per cent as at July 2016, the lowest quarterly rate in five years.

This is according to the latest labour force survey undertaken by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The rate for the July quarter was 0.2 per cent lower than the figure recorded for January 2015 and 0.8 per cent less than April 2016.

The youth unemployment rate also saw a decline of 1.3 per cent to 29.6 per cent.

Director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr Wayne Henry, said that the total number of employed persons as at July 2016 stood at 1,186,900, an increase of 39,400 persons relative to July 2015.

He said this represents the highest level of employment ever recorded for a single month.

The number of employed males increased by 9,700 to 663,100, and employed females by 29,700 to 523,800. The youth employment level also increased by 16,200 to 152,100 persons.

Henry, who was addressing the quarterly press briefing at PIOJ’s offices on Wednesday, said the employment levels represent a bounce-back from the impact of the global financial and economic crisis in 2011, which resulted in the loss of 90,900 jobs. The economy has since added 103,300 jobs.

The largest increases of employment were recorded in the wholesale and retail of motor vehicle and equipment industry, as well as in construction and manufacturing.

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