Overall labour force grows

Despite an unemployment rate among Caymanians of nearly 10 per cent, signs of hope were pointed out within the local economy by the 2010 census data.

Both the total number of people in the local labour force and the total number of those employed within that labour force rose slightly between 2009 and 2010.

The number of those with jobs in the Cayman Islands was 300 more in 2010 than in 2009. The number of unemployed individuals also rose by about 100 from year to year, however, because the labour force numbers were greater the Islands’ unemployment actually fell by just a bit during 2010.

The 2009 and 2010 have yet to reach back to 2008 levels, when the labour force totalled nearly 39,000 people and the employed numbered 37,450.

There were five major employment groups in the Cayman Islands responsible for most of the jobs, according to the 2010 census. Those included services and sales, professional job categories, “elementary occupations” [labourers and the like], technicians and crafts-related construction positions.

“The top five occupations account for 74.5 per cent of the total employment,” the census report noted. “Four of these top five occupational classes are dominated by non-Caymanians (service and sales, professionals, elementary occupations, and craft-related workers).

“The occupational class managers, which includes directors, chief executive officers and senior government officials has a share of 10.3 per cent of total employment. It is also male and Caymanian dominated. There are only approximately 72 females per 100 males and 50 non-Caymanians for every 100 Caymanians in this class.”

The services and sales sector in the Cayman Islands is female dominated – accounting for nearly 23 per cent of all women who hold jobs within the Islands – and employs nearly 6,600 people. According to the census, there are nearly 183 non-Caymanians for every 100 Caymanians in this job category.

The “professional” job class employed the second-largest number of people in the Islands – around 5,700 people in all – again employing a greater number of women than men.

Construction-related fields continued to be majority male, whether the jobs were unskilled or skilled occupations. Labourers and crafts workers together made up about 8,000 jobs within Caymanian society.

The skilled technicians and associate professionals maintained almost a one-to-one ratio among men and women during 2010. Caymanians also made up the largest percentage of workers in the job category, according to the census report.

For specific industries in the Islands, wholesale and retails sales was the largest in 2010, followed by construction, financial services, domestic helpers and general public administration.

The 2010 census also shed some stereotypes with regard to Cayman’s financial services industry. Financial services ranked third among the largest employers and is dominated almost two-to-one by women and more than two-to-one by Caymanians.

“This industry comprises the largest employer of Caymanians, but accounts for only 5.9 per cent of non-Caymanian employment,” the report indicated. “There are around 45 non-Caymanians for every 100 Caymanians in this industry.”

Public administration jobs were also dominated by the local population by a ratio of about three-to-one, Caymanians to non-Caymanians.

The domestic helper and retail industries were dominated by non-Caymanians, particularly domestic helpers were non-Caymanians outnumber Caymanians by 10-to-one.


  1. Help to shed some light on this issue Compass. The census seems not to have included in its numbers or data anyone who had lived in Cayman for less than 6 months and anyone who was leaving within 6 months. About 3,000 primary holders are granted permits every year. About 2,000 are rolled over. It would seem that half of those were coming or going within 6 months of the census. They however all lived in Cayman on census day, were almost all in the workforce and working, and were 100% expatriate. If they were not counted, neither were their dependents – and how about the 2,000 Working by Operation of Law on census day many of whom were not in a position to know if they would still be here in 6 months. How did the census count them and their dependents?

    If there is any basis to the non counting of these persons it rather throws off your conclusions as to the size of the workforce, population, and size of the population – but then, unlike facts, statistics can be tailored to any viewpoint.

    It would be good if you could confirm the facts, as well as the statistics.

  2. With regard to Lantern’s comments, the figures as reported in the newspaper are the same as those that appear in the 2010 Census report. What someone’s interpretation of the figures might be is up for that individual to decide.

  3. Thank you for your comment press. Perhaps you could let your readership know your estimate of how many expatriates were living and working in the Cayman Islands on census day and were not counted because of the methodology used by the ESO? I think that that may change your own perception of the facts, which are not open to interpretation.

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