Jamaica’s Unemployment Rates At All Time Low

STATIN reports an astounding all-time low for Jamaica’s unemployment rates at 8%. This is the lowest unemployment rate Jamaica has ever seen since its highest rate of 16.50% in 1997.

Bar Chart Showing Jamaica’s Unemployment Rates
Source: Trading Economics. https://tradingeconomics.com/jamaica/unemployment-rate

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) Labour Force Survey highlighted that the labour force had received an increase in female labourers at a rate of 3.5%, which was twice that of males at 1.4%.

With that said, women dominated in the occupational arenas of ”Professionals, Senior Officials and Technicians’ and ‘Clerks‘. As well as in the industry groups of ‘Hotel & Resturants Services‘ and ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’.

Why is having a low unemployment rate good for Jamaica?

With lower unemployment rates, Jamaicans and in extension, its government, will experience heightened levels of prosperity which will be beneficial to all within the society.

These include:

  • Increased earnings for Jamaicans.
  • Reduction in homelessness.
  • Improved stress and health problems.
  • Increase in human capital.
  • A decrease in government borrowing.
  • Higher GDP for the economy.
  • A decrease in social problems.
  • Political stability.
Gendered Perspective on the data

According to the Global Economy, since 1991, women have accounted for the majority of the unemployed population in Jamaica.

This calls for much-needed empowerment actions to raise the status of women through awareness building, education, literacy and training (Bayeh, 2016).

Women are empowered when they are able to access the opportunities available to them without limitations and restrictions (Bayeh, 2016).

It is my belief, that the women’s empowerment initiatives in Jamaica can finally reap the fruit of their labour after this annoucement of higher female employment rates.

The lower employment rates of men, however, should not be taken as devastating or as a blow to men. The reality is, men have always dominated in the formal world of work. Thanks to the hands of sexism and patriarchy.


It was refreshing to see an increase in women participating in the labour
force. This will mean that women are earning and are now better able to provide for themselves and in extension their families.

While it is that more women are being employed in the first portion of 2019. It is also important to pay special attention to the type of jobs that women are being employed to and their levels of earning power. As this will determine how great of stride we’ve made in empowering our women.

It is however still a win for all Jamaicans. This is a strong step towards gender equality and sustainable development.

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