Unemployment is a critical indicator of the health of the economy. This Monday Musings we zoom in on Jamaica’s unemployment rate which has risen by an ~2 percentage points, from 14.5% at the beginning of 2013 to 16.3% for the second quarter of the year.
This is the highest recorded unemployment rate in over 16 years, the rate has not been this high since December 1997 when it was 16.5%. The graph above shows the movement in the unemployment rate from January 2010 to April 2013.
A high unemployment rate can occur for a number of reasons including an unproductive economy or economic crisis such as a recession. In Jamaica’s current case, the high unemployment rate is as a result of five consecutive quarters of contracting Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The data also revealed that for the same period male and female unemployment rate both increased, for male from 10.6% to 12% and females from 19.1% to 21.3%. See the respective graphs below. Click on the respective charts to dig deeper.