The Government continued its quest to provide job opportunities for more Jamaicans, with increased focus on training persons, particularly for higher-end activities and high-value positions.
This contributed to the country’s unemployment rate falling to a new record low of 8.4 per cent – the lowest in 50 years.
Record Low Unemployment
- According to data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s (STATIN) Labour Force Survey for July 2018, the number of unemployed persons declined by 27.7 per cent to 111,800.
- This out-turn is 2.9 percentage points lower than the rate of 11.3 per cent for July 2017.
- The unemployment rate among youth, aged 14 to 24, decreased by 5.3 per cent to 22.2 per cent, relative to the 27.5 per cent out-turn recorded in July 2017.
- The overall number of persons who are in jobs rose to 1,226,400 as at July 2018, representing an increase of 12,800 persons.
- The total labour force stood at 1,338,200 persons as at July 2018.
- Approximately 1.3 million Jamaicans were employed in various industries as at the end of 2018.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Sector
- Much of the employment opportunities were generated in the BPO sector which the Government continues to target as a key part of its economic growth and job creation thrust.
- The BPO industry, which has the highest employment growth rate of any sector over the last decade, now employs more than 32,500 persons.
- Joint venture agreements were approved by Cabinet to develop the Naggo Head Technology Park in Portmore, St. Catherine, and the Morant Bay Urban Centre in St. Thomas over a two-year period. The agreements, which are between Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Limited, will see the provision of 830,000 square feet of BPO space. Development of the technology parks have resulted from the growing demand for BPO office space. The parks are expected to create 23,000 additional jobs.