Work force grew in 2011

Unemployment flat-lining, report shows

The Cayman Islands unemployment situation didn’t exactly improve during 2011.  

However, it didn’t really get any worse either, according to a labour force study completed by the government Economics and Statistics Office in the fall of 2011.  

The overall work force in the Cayman Islands grew just a bit between 2010 and 2011. According to economics office estimates, the number of employed Caymanians went up by about 176 people from year to year.  

The number of employed non-Caymanian workers also increased by 108 people during the same time.  

The total number of unemployed individuals went up by 23 people from year to year as well, which means the overall unemployment rate remained roughly the same as it had been during 2010; about 9.8 per cent for Caymanians and 3.1 per cent for non-Caymanians.  

“[The low unemployment rate for non-Caymanians] is expected since non-Caymanians who do not have a work permit or government contract to participate in the labour force are required to leave the country,” the Economics and Statistics Office report states. Unemployed permanent residents or spouses of Caymanians who are seeking work account for most of the unemployed non-Caymanian figures.  

Premier McKeeva Bush said he was encouraged that some growth – about 0.8 per cent – had occurred in the overall work force.  

“I am pleased that the labour market has improved last year, and I expect it to further make progress this year,” Mr. Bush said. 

Since about 2008, Cayman’s overall population, as well as its work force within that population has seen a steady decline. Last year was the first to buck the trend since then.  

Caymanians made up some 45.3 per cent of the work force, while non-Caymanians made up 54.7 per cent; about the same as what the territory saw during 2010, the statistics office noted.  


Youth unemployment 

Similar to what was shown by the 2010 census, unemployment among young people who are actively seeking jobs continued to be a problem for 2011.  

According to economics office figures, only 55 per cent of the population between the ages of 15 and 24 that sought employment were participating in the work force. 

That number dropped even further for males, only 53 per cent of whom – between ages 15 and 24 – were participating in the work force.  

The statistics office figures for work force participation do not include those individuals still in school or those participating in job training activities. Only those youngsters who listed themselves as actively seeking work and not finding it were counted among the survey records.  

Work force participation improves massively once the 25 to 34 age group is counted. More than 94 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 in Cayman were listed as participating in the labour market for 2011. 

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