Unemployment Rate Dips To 12.8%

In this week’s Monday Musings, we take a quick look back at the Unemployment Rate.  It was reported at the end of November that youth unemployment remained at 3 times the rate of the national average.  The underlying story, however, was that Jamaica’s unemployment rate was 12.8%, the lowest since July 2011.  The graph below shows the trend in the unemployment rate from January 2010 to July 2012:

unemployment_rateThe unemployment rate of 12.8%, however, does not tell the whole story.  In order to get a better picture we need to separate the male unemployment rate from the female unemployment rate:

unemployment_rate_female unemployment_rate_male

The graphs above tell a different story about Jamaica’s unemployment rate – Male unemployment is actually below the magical 10% mark, while Female unemployment languishes at 16.7%.  Can anyone explain why there is such a disparity between the two rates of unemployment?

Aside from the large disparity, there is also a large contingent of the population who are described as “Outside the Labour Force”.  These are persons who are over the age of 14.  As such we would like to think they are in school on the path to a good education and eventually success in life.  Unfortunately, “Outside the Labour Force” accounts for 27.8% of the population or 754,000 persons.  What are these people “Outside the Labour Force” doing?  Are they contributing their fair share to taxes and other parts of society?

Lets look at the chart that shows this data:


All data above can be found by clicking on the respective chart or heading over to diGJamaica.com/data.