More Caymanians at work

Caymanians appear to be gaining in the ratio between them and non-Caymanians in the work place after falling behind in 2001.

Statistics on total employment reaching back to 1993 show 9,305 Caymanians on the job and 6,690 expatriates employed that year. The numbers grew over the years for both sets of personnel in the workforce, but expatriate figures showed a higher level of increase until taking over in 2001 to reflect 11,844 Caymanians employed to 14,018 non-nationals.

But, while the number of expatriates remained in the 14,000 bracket, more Caymanians entered the workplace so that at the end of last year there were 13, 841 locals and 14,986 non-nationals employed.

In 2001 when the number of Caymanians in the workforce fell behind, the percentage change of total workers over the previous year was 18.5 per cent more, reflecting the highest change in total employment for any year between 1993 and 2003 as reported in the Cayman Islands Compendium of Statistics for last year, which was presented in the Legislative Assembly by Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson.

The compendium omitted the years 1999 and 2000 in its employment by sector report.

According to the number of work permits issued, skilled and semi-skilled occupations accounted for most of the jobs held by expatriates.

Between the years 1993 and 2002 – except 1999 and 2000 – the Wholesale, Retail, Hotel and Restaurant industry registered the largest leap in employment, moving from 4,310 persons to 6,943. This industry also continued to hold the position of lead employer.

The category of Recreation, Community and Personal made the second largest leap for the period, jumping from 1,960 to 4,082.

Though it recorded the second highest increase in workers, the Recreational, Community and Personal category is not the second largest employer. That position is held by Insurance, Financial, and Business where 5,398 persons were employed in 2002.

Describing the 2003 Compendium as a document bearing statistics that matter, Mr. Jefferson said, ‘The 2003 Compendium of Statistics provides a wealth of both new and previously published information about our islands – all in one convenient publication’.

Among the useful statistics he pointed out to the House that the Compendium contained was that the Cayman Islands resident population grew from 43,004 in 2002 to 44,144 last year; the value of imports rose from $494.4 million in 2002 to $535.5 million last year, while exports for the period rose from $3 million to $4.3 million; and the value of freehold real estate transfers went up from $269.9 million in 2002 to $324.3 million last year.

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