Cayman Islands Employment Minister Rolston Anglin said Friday that there were more than 2,400 people registered with the Department of Employment Relations.
Of those, 977 were registered as “unemployed”, according to the agency’s database.
Mr. Anglin told Legislative Assembly the present estimated unemployment rate in Cayman was 9.9 per cent, however he cautioned that the Department of Employment relations records were not the sole records used in calculating unemployment.
“The Economics and Statistics Office [is[ responsible for estimating unemployment and all major statistics in the country,” the minister noted. According to a statistics office report for the end of 2009, total unemployment in the Cayman Islands stood at about six per cent.
However, the same report also indicated that Caymanian unemployment at the end of the year was 9.8 per cent. Typically, unemployment figures for non-Caymanians are low as most individuals cannot stay here if they do not have a job.
It was unclear whether Mr. Anglin’s 9.9 per cent figure was for Caymanians only or for the entire population of the Islands. According to the employment relations figures, for the 977 people registered as unemployed, the vast majority – 816 people – were either Caymanians or status-holders. Some 129 permanent residents were registered as being unemployed and 32 spouses of Caymanians were unemployed.
Well more than half of the people listed as having no job by the DER were between the ages of 19 and 35; meaning younger people were generally having more difficulty finding work.
Also of concern, some 156 people registered by employment relations as having ‘some college education’ were listed as unemployed.
Minister Anglin has previously spoken of the massive problem unemployment poses to the Cayman Islands.
“We have a significant unemployment issue that poses one of the greatest threats to our economy and society and the government is tackling the matter on three fronts,” he said in December, following a meeting with protesters who picketed the Legislative Assembly.
“The new Department of Labour and Pensions will provide the public with more seamless/efficient labour and labour related services and the Human Capital Development Agency will provide all job placement, training and scholarship services,” Mr. Anglin said in December. “The Government will be ensuring that the established linkages between the Department Employment Relations and the Immigration Department are working to ensure Caymanians are given every opportunity to secure employment… and thirdly the Government was working diligently to get projects, both public and private, started to kick start the economy and generate employment.”
Mr. Anglin also provided a breakdown for the total number of 2,417 currently registered with the Department of Employment Relations.
According to the figures, 1,946 of those individuals were Caymanians or status holders. Permanent residents registered with the DER numbered 396 people, and 75 were listed as being married to a Caymanian.
The largest single age group registered with employment relations were those between 26 and 35 – nearly 700 people.