Near 10% locals still jobless
(CNS): Almost ten percent of Caymanian workers are without a job, the Economics and Statistics office has said in its latest report on the country’s labour force. Despite an increase in the size of the workforce, overall unemployment increased last year from 6.2% in 2010 to 6.3%. The rate of unemployment among Caymanian workers remained at 9.8% at the end of last year, while unemployment among non-Caymanians was 3.1%. The ESO reports that the size of the workforce is estimated at 37,620 and the number of people in work in 2011 was said to be 35,267. With an extra 23 added to the jobless list, 2,353 remained unemployed last year.
“I am pleased that the labour market has improved last year, and I expect it to further make progress this year,” said Premier McKeeva Bush who has responsibility for the ESO.
Non-Caymanians make up a greater percentage of the local labour force, taking 52.9% of the work. People aged between 35 and 44 years accounted for 33.2% of the labour force in 2011, followed by the 25-34 year-olds, which comprised 25.2%. However people under the age of 24 have the highest levels of unemployment at more than 20%. Overall, the largest group of unemployed people was Caymanian men younger than 35 as they make up more than 54% of the jobless total.
Despite Cayman’s claim to having a high standard of living, almost 37% of the work force earns less than $1,600 per month. The ESO report reveals that the highest earners in the country are still predominately non-Caymanian men and the lowest earners are non-Caymanian women.
The report also reveals that unemployment among Caymanians is, in many cases, long term with more than 50% being out of work for more than a year and one in six has never had a job. On the whole, they have been without work for longer than six months and have relied mainly on financial support from spouses or partners, parents, or other relatives and friends.
Despite this, over half of the unemployed (56%) had received some form of training and around a quarter had finished college or university.
The top occupation remains service and sales, which accounts for 19.4% of total employment. Elementary occupations account for 16.3%, professionals make up 15.1%, technicians and associate professionals 13.9% and craft and related trade workers account for just over 10%.
About half of the country’s work force is either a civil servant, or works in construction, finance or the wholesale and retail trades. Of those workers who remitted some of their earnings overseas, 28.3% sent up to $4,000 home.
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