Work permits down

Several employment areas within Cayman’s financial industry saw significant reductions in the number of work permits in the six-week period ending 27 February.

Based on figures supplied by the Immigration Department Monday, total work permits and government employment contracts for all occupations dropped from 25,900 on 16 January to 25,434 on 27 February, a reduction of 467 people or 1.8 per cent.

However several key areas of the financial industry saw much larger percentage drops. The number of lawyers on work permits or working under the operation of law dropped 25 people from 306 to 281, an 8.1 per cent decrease.

The numbers of foreign auditors working here dropped from 236 to 217, a decrease of 8.05 per cent; accountants on some kind of work permit or working under operation of law dropped from 730 to 711, a decrease of 3.2 per cent; and the number of secretaries on work permits fell 8.9 per cent from 180 to 164.

Other significant decreases include non-professional commercial managers, which dropped 7.74 per cent from 297 to 275; architects, whose numbers fell from 14 to 10, a 28.57 per cent decrease; construction engineers, the number of which fell 12 per cent from 65 to 57; and mutual fund managers, whose numbers fell 75 per cent from 4 to 1.

The number of foreign teachers on some sort of work permit also dropped in the six-week period, from 537 to 510, a decrease of five per cent; while the number of carpenters fell from 924 to 887, a 3.7 per cent decrease. Masons, skilled tradesmen, and unskilled labourers also decreased slightly.

Two categories of employment that showed the largest percentage decreases included sales representatives, whose numbers fell 18.9 per cent from 148 to 120 people; and boat deckhands, whose numbers decreased 13.76 per cent from 109 to 96.

The reduction of foreign workers does not necessarily mean they have left the country; obtaining permanent residency or Caymanian Status would also remove a foreign person from the numbers supplied by the Immigration Department.

Some work permit categories increased, including food and beverage servers, sous chefs and skilled cooks; and hospitality laundry staff.

The profession with one of the largest increases in work permit holders was ministers of religion, whose numbers rose from 74 to 86, a 16.2 per cent increase.

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