Unemployment registrations revealed

A total of 642 unemployed people registered with the Cayman Islands Department of Employment Relations between 2009 and 2011, according to figures released as part of an immigration system review that were released earlier this month.

The Immigration Term Limit Review Committee looked at unemployment as part of its report that recommended a number of changes to Cayman’s current immigration policies on foreign labour, including extending the seven-year term limit on residence for foreign employees 
to 10 years.

Figures from the Department of Employment Relations indicated that a total of 642 people had registered as “unemployed” with the department during the three year period reviewed by the committee.

Of those individuals, 519 were Caymanians [including those granted Caymanian status] and 123 were 
permanent residents.

Among the unemployed registered with the department, more than 300 reported obtaining only a high school diploma or not finishing high school. Another 143 of those registered said they had attended “some college”, while 147 of those registered reported have obtained an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a certificate or a master’s degree.

The unemployed registered with the department were fairly well-distributed across the age groups, but the largest number of registered unemployed (192) were between ages 19-25. Another 168 were between ages 26-35, there were 106 people registered unemployed between ages 36-45 and another 104 between ages 46-55.

The number of those 
registered with the department does not include the full count of Cayman’s unemployed people, only those who registered between 2009 and 2011, according to department officials.

The Cayman Islands’ overall 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 workforce 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.

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

“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 workforce 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 workforce, while non-Caymanians made up 54.7 per cent; about the same as what the territory saw during 2010, the statistics office noted.


  1. It’s a waste of time going to the department of unemployment cause they don’t try to help Caymanian i been going there from 2009 and up until know i can get a job and all the wan to do is send you to do jobs that can’t even help with you bill after the company take out what they want from your 2 s that you make

  2. I can’t agree with you more hotgirl. The DER or Human Capital Agency as it is now known, (changing the name and keeping the same complacent/lazy players makes no sense whatsoever). I registered in 2009, in person, hand delivered my documents. I have yet to hear one peep out of that agency. Clearly, they need to do some more restructuring. The head of that Dept. now is not going to be any better, sorry to say it, but our own are the ones that keep us down the most. I would like to see the success rates for those this agency has placed since 2009? That would be the real picture that people want to see.

    Furthermore 642 people unemployed that figure is triple that or more, because we DO NOT HAVE any FAITH in that agency, so please get the real picture and do a survey (like you all love to do) and see exactly how many are unemployed that are not registered!

  3. It’s called living within your means.

    If these Filipino’s can do it, why can’t you?

    Oh right…you are too worried about what other people have, and how you will look not having it.

    Well the reality is, and it’s shown in this report. That if you have only highschool or less. Unless people stop hampering the government’s projects, to make blue collar work. You will have a hard time making a good salary.

    And that is exactly like everywhere else on planet, in every country. This is why, in other countries. People protest the government for serious things. They are not protesting their governments for moving a dump, or a road built here and there, or having a hospital built. Or a dock build, or a marina proposal. They are smart enough to see progress as good. They understand these create jobs. Not protest these projects and then a month from then, come in the compass and complain where the jobs are.

  4. So my questions to both of the individuals that posted comments on this subject are; what level of education do you currently possess? What other skill sets do you have that may have come through work experience or non-formal education? Are you solely depending on the system to find you a job or are you out marketing yourself to different employers on the island? Finally, if you are only getting offered jobs that pay minimum wage, what are you doing for yourself to try and improve your skills/education/marketability? The reality of it is that you are responsible for making your own destiny-not the government. Yes, I work in the US and live here but we are also going through HIGH unemployment, especially in the State of Michigan. When I was let go from my prior position, I went out delivering my resume/CV to various businesses, networked, and made it my priority to try and find a job. I had to work for a company as an intern for nearly 6 months until I was offered a full time position. The point I am making is that you need to stop blaming the government for your shortcomings and start taking responsibility for your own destiny.

  5. If I may make a suggestion. If going to the Department of Employment looking for work is such a waste of time and they only can seem to assist you with getting low level positions. Why don’t you set your sights higher and position yourself to look for a better type of position. Anyone can teach themselves basic computer skills that would open up the door to better jobs.

    A good start would be to go to http://office.microsoft.com and check out the learning resources section, there are free online courses that you can take in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook as well as links to other free training. Simple skills like these on your resume will get you noticed by more employers.

    Sometimes if you can’t find what you want in certain places you have the reigns yourself and do what it take to set your own destiny. Instead of looking at other people that have more with envy, figure out what they did to get where they are and how you can walk the same path.

    I can remember 25 years ago, I had to choose between cutting my hair and getting a job. I decided that the opportunities that job offered me were more important to than my Afro so I went with the clean low cut look of Corporate America which is what I was trying to get into. The point I am trying to make hear it that I was willing to Sacrifice and step outside of my comfort zone to get what I wanted. Once I found myself unemployed with a mortgage to pay and a daughter in College, after not being able to find a job close to home for several weeks I opened up my options to other cities while lead to a good job but I had to drive 2 hours to and from work every day. Inconvenient? Yes, but the Mortgage got paid and my little girl as I like to call her now has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and also the house is paid off. Again I had to step outside of my comfort zone to get what I wanted and to keep what I worked for.

    When I was 18 fresh out of High School, I can remember wanting this job so bad that I made an offer to the person interviewing me that I would work for free for a month to prove myself and then they could decide whether or not to hire me after that time. They took me up on that offer and what I did was show up every day on time, dressed for work with a positive attitude, worked hard to learn what they wanted me to do and proved to them that I would be an asset. Two weeks later I was hired and paid from the first day. Again the point is you have to do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd and get what you want out of life.

    Life will knock you down plenty of times but just like any heavyweight champ you have get right back up on your feet and start swinging again if you want to win.

  6. Well…[email protected] the article states 147 of those registered reported have obtained an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a certificate or a master’s degree. Cayman is a small community and there was a claim that we needed ‘formal education qualifications’ to obtain opportunities. Fine.

    SO in a community where half the working population is on work permits you really think CAymanians who are qualified and actively sough employment should not be given the opportunity?

    That’s the problem now…..others think it’s easy to have employers take the ethical and moral step and at least interview Caymanians. The biggest problem is with the CIG because the work permit boards refuse to enforce the law and trust me, trying to enforce unfair discrimination claims here (which can occur before a person is hired, in ads and interviews) is taking away opportunities from qualified, employable and employed Caymanians.

  7. Hotgirl – if you are struggling to find work you might want to work on your spelling and grammar, if your post below is anything to go by

  8. NJ2Cay

    You’ve made some very good points.

    When you’re ‘hungry’ you do whatever it takes to put food on the table and a roof over your head.

    I know a person who graduated with two university degrees, but it didn’t get him a job, times were tough.
    Over educated, under experienced, no experience, over qualified……..
    He looked around to see where the money was being made and at the time it was construction. (Actually, always has been and always will be.)
    He finally convinced one company to hire him even though he had no experience whatsoever…couldn’t even use a hammer to drive a nail.
    For over a half a year he carried construction material, swept floors, did all the dirty work basically, but he was learning at the same time.
    Later, when allowed, he learned to use the hammer, the saw, the drill and read blueprints.
    What university had taught him was learn how to learn.

    Within a year and a half he got his first contract and hired the required trades from the co-workers he had made friends with.

    Not only did I put food on the table and a roof over my head but I was able to do so for approximately 10 other men and their families for many years.

    The point I’m trying to make is that a higher education doesn’t guarantee you a job but provides a solid background to pursue various avenues so that one can fulfill their life’s goals.

    When you hit rock bottom, the only place to go is up…..step by step.

  9. And if you are looking for a job, please don’t send your cousin, uncle, boyfriend, local politician, or Mama in to ask for a job on your behalf! Get off your butt, put on some nice clothes, PROOF READ your resume for crying out loude, and go in person and meet the HR Manager face to face.

    Second piece of advice…dont say your Caymanian more than once. Being Caymanian is not a job qualification, it does not entitle you to a job.

    Lastly, remember that businesses WANT to hire Caymanians. No one wnats to go through the work permit process. The fees are high, the whole process is a headache, and there is no guarantee the employee will be with your company long-term. Companies want the BEST person for the job, you have to compete like everyone else. If it comes down to a tie breaker and you are Caymanian, you have the edge. Remember, its what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.

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