Caymanian unemployment at 10 per cent

Caymanian unemployment figures rose
to 9.8 per cent as of October 2009, according to a study released this month by
the government Economic and Statistics Office.

In 2008, Caymanian unemployment was
estimated at 6.6 per cent by the same survey.

Although government officials had
previously quoted unemployment at about six per cent in 2009, that figure was
given for the entire population of the Cayman Islands; approximately 53,000

Unemployment numbers for
expatriates are always very low because those foreigners here on government
contracts or work permits are generally required to leave the Islands if they
lose their jobs.

According to the conclusion in the
statistics office Labour Force Survey, there was an overall decrease in the
population, which “may be due to the economic crisis that resulted in the
transfer/closing of business.”

“This affected the overall labour
force participation with increased unemployment rates,” the study read.
“Caymanians were most affected.”

Overall, there were 2,181
unemployed people in the Cayman Islands, including expatriates. That number
includes individuals who are without a job and who are available for work and
are seeking employment.

“The majority of the unemployed had
high school or lower level education,” the statistics office report stated. “On
a whole, they have been without work for longer than six months and have relied
mainly on financial support from spouse/partners, parents or other relatives
and friends.”

The majority of the unemployed
population in the Cayman Islands comprised of males and those younger than 35.

In previous years, the highest
jobless rate was seen among those aged 15-24, and that did not change in the
2009 labour survey.

However, there were some disturbing
revelations concerning the younger section of the workforce.

“Males and those in the 25 to 34
age group experienced the highest increase in unemployment rate between 2008
and 2009,” the report stated, adding that the elderly were the only group where
unemployment levels actually decreased – largely indicative of the fact that
many had retired.

The unemployment rate among Caymanians
increased even though records showed that local members of the population
actually increased their participation in the workforce slightly during 2009.

The number of Caymanians with jobs
in 2008 grew from 17,686 to 18,162 in 2009; a modest rise of about 2.5 per

On the other hand, expatriate
workers in the Islands saw their numbers plummet from 21,313 in 2008 to 17,936
in 2009; a fall of about 16 per cent.

The total number of jobs in the
local workforce fell by about 2,900 between 2008 and 2009.

Last year was also the first time
since 2005 that Caymanians made up the majority of the local workforce. Despite
those gains, overall Caymanian unemployment increased substantially.

Working conditions

Overall, the 2009 labour study
found the average employee in the Cayman Islands put in 42.5 hours per week.

According to the survey, males
worked about two hours longer per week than females and non-Caymanians worked
about three hours longer per week than Caymanians.

The main occupations in the Islands
were public administration jobs (15 per cent), construction (14.5 per cent),
followed by retail (13.5 per cent), real estate (12.7 per cent), and financial
services (9.4 per cent).

A slim majority of the local
workforce (about 51 per cent) earned at least $2,400 per month, although the
per capita income average fell to $44,197 per year in 2009, compared to $46,409
in 2008.


  1. This is great information. The Economics and Statistic Office needs to communicate with the Community quarterly and include forecast based on Government policy, regional and global economic data. This will allow businesses to better plan and labor to identify opportunities.

  2. Those retired from government should get out of the way of our young people and give them a chance.
    Jobs or government positions should not be given to retirees where a young person fresh from college or high school needs a start in life.
    It is unfair for government to continue to pay TWO SALARIES TO THESE RETIREES.

    Pension plus a salary? that is illegal in some countries like the united states.!Even if they are allowed to work their earnings in addition to the pension is limited and regulated by government.
    Cayman its time to start acting responsible and give our young folks a chance at the career of their choice whether in private sector or as a public servant.

  3. i thought, or was told, (copyright rooster, talk today) that if we get rid of the expats it would be happy days, bountiful rewards and bags of cash, what happened?
    was i lied to?

  4. So what is the solution?


    Those in high positions, are not in for sharing their wealth with other Caymanians. They want to hoard wealth and please their rich friends, and as a result, do you think they will want to look out for the average citizen? Do you think that they would want laws crafted in such a way as to have fair game?

    Look at the number of Work Permit holders in the thousands and the number of Caymanians unemployed…

    Get my drift!

  5. The solution to our economic recovery is for Government to spend less, not more. The divestment of Government owned and operated businesses that are failing to make a contribution to the Government revenues eliminate the need for taxpayer bailouts annually. That would reduce Government operating losses, further private sector investment in capital projects will reduce unemployment and cut the demand for tax increases (which depress investment). My view: All democracies are designed to regulate, ensure fairness, enact laws to protect human rights, the environment and minimize its cost to the consumer.
    I am so very happy that the media is now allowing blog opportunities to each story as this allows consumers to respond and to be enriched by the knowledge of all persons globally. Any media house that refuses to post a blog that disagrees with their article is liken to that of communist states, draconian leadership, dictators and must be feared by all. This has also, for the better, allowed far greater participation and influence of our small voting block by not only the work permit holders on island, but persons living in other countries. IMHO of course.

  6. It would be very interesting if the Economic and Statistics Office releases information in regards to the working background, degrees, training and past work experience (if any)to give us a better idea of the caliber of the unemployeed. It would also be helpful to know what kind of job are they seeking in relation to their expertise. Are the unemployed new to the work force? Are their previous job places still in business, did they down size or went out of business all together? If they need a job, can they at least get a low paying job to start with as not to be a total burden to spouse/ partner? Not been able to get a job after knocking door after door it is not only frustrating but scarry. Not knowing if and when your next salary will come from for you to be able to pay bills, send kids to school and feed them is very stressful. I have been to several places where unemployment was very serious. The shear number of people looking for a job meant that if you saw an ad, you will dress up accordingly for the interview, be there at very early hours (5 am for a "starting at 9 am appointments) and still find a line of people in front of you. Most of the job seekers were overqualified for the position but nevertheless desperate to get a job, any job at that point. Competition was fierce. And when you got the job, you performed because you new there were 100 people ready to take your place. You know the unemployment is high and things are difficult when your taxi driver is an architect, a dentist or a lawyer. I don think we have reached that point yet but I do think that we need to explore more in depth how and why there are Caymanians unemployed. The change will be a social change with empahisis on training, work ethics and performance. It needs to come from within each individual with a government guidance but not expecting hte government to do everything for us.

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