Report: Caymanian unemployment at 10.5 per cent

The number of unemployed Caymanians living in the Cayman Islands went up slightly, according to the most recent Labour Force Survey from the government’s Economics and Statistics Office.

However, the overall labour force in Cayman also grew, according to the survey which the government produces each year.

The total number of employed individuals in the Cayman Islands for 2012 was estimated at 36,401, higher by 3.2 percent compared to 2011 which saw 35,267 employed people. Caymanian and non-Caymanian employment rose by 3.3 and 3.2 per cent, respectively.
“I am pleased that the labour market improved last year, and I expect it to make further progress this year towards reducing the overall unemployment rate,” said Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

However, the number of unemployed people in Cayman also grew from year-to-year.

In 2011, the government estimated there were 2,353 jobless within the Cayman Islands. In 2012, there were an estimated 2,410 unemployed.

Breaking that number down by Caymanians and non-Caymanians; there were an estimated 1,925 unemployed Caymanians here last year compared to an estimated 1,732 based on statistics office figures for 2011.

That left Caymanian unemployment at 10.5 for last year, compared to 9.8 per cent the year before.

The number of non-Caymanians unemployed in 2012 was estimated at 485. That number was estimated at 621 by the Economics and Statistics Office during 2011. Typically, unemployment for non-Caymanian workers is quite low because they are not allowed to stay in the Islands without jobs.

Please see much more on this story in Monday’s Caymanian Compass…



  1. I hope that it drop to at least 5.0 percent. The more Caymanians that are out of work, is the more expats and businesses will need security to work here, the more welfare funds will have to be allotted, and the less economic stability as a whole. We can’t continue playing a blind eye to our own people in favor of benefiting a few with the dollars. Society can take so much and eventually the whole machine will crash if we are not careful. Let us not forget that people who make money are customers to a business. So if you have many people unemployed, how are businesses going to make money? You will end having a deadbeat society.

  2. This is the reason why there is such a strain on the social service department. Many Caymanians could get jobs but they are not given this opportunity. Especially by the Government of this Island. The private sector is not obligated to give any Caymanians job because they pay for their work permit for their employees, so the government departments need to open spaces that Caymanians get preference, and stop hiring foreign nationals, leave that for the private sector. This will always be the same as long as we have the wrong people running the government departments They just are not giving Caymanians the opportunity.

  3. It would be useful if the government completed a skills assessment to determine the reason for unemployment (ie lack of education, lack of experience, etc.). It’s possible with a little help many of the unemployed could be come employed. If a Caymanian is already on government assistance then a subsidized apprenticeship for some time period would be very beneficial for those lacking work experience.

    If you are unemployed I would encourage you to find a successful, relative, friend or church member who is willing to coach you to become more employable and find a job. We are currently doing this for one of our nieces in the US. Our niece is also working 20 hours a week in an UNPAID internship to get some experience and mentorship from a very successful person. Something to consider.

    There is always something you can do to improve your situation. Sometimes is just requires some creative thinking and the help of a few friends.

  4. And of course, the people who are commenting, missed the point made in the article. 3.2 percent expats AND Caymanian employment rose by 3.3 and 3.2 respectively.

    And once again, logic escapes them.

    Notice any coincidence? Between the expat hiring and Caymanian hiring?

    It means that for every job an expat holds a Caymanian also holds one job.

    And can you guess what would happen if you get rid of the expat? We have already seen what happens there, don’t we? Less Caymanian jobs.

    So maybe this is too obvious. But perhaps instead of the xenophobia. Fear mongering, in case you don’t know the first word.

    Realize this. Expats create Caymanian jobs.

    But keep up with the thought that getting rid of an expat gives a Caymanian a job. It’s what started this whole economic down turn 3 years ago. But hey, 5k expats gone. Must mean no Caymanian unemployment by now, right?

  5. What a bunch of BS. If you are Caymanian most of the jobs out there are yours for the taking. Caymanians first, it’s the law and that’s the way it should be. However the job won’t come looking for you. If you don’t want to wash dishes, wait on tables, mow the grass or serve a drink, then stay home, that’s your prerogative, but please let’s stop whining when someone is imported from 10,000 miles away to do a job that needs to be done but you don’t want to do. It simply makes no sense, why would any Caymanian or X-pat business owner want to go through the immigration hassle and red tape and expense by importing a bartender (for example) if Caymanians were available and willing to do the job. As for the minimum wage excuse, that’s more BS, a friendly, smiling, courteous person working in the hospitality business can take home more money in tips than his or hers weekly pay check.

  6. Caymanian unemployment is a complete myth. Any Caymanian who wants a job could walk into any supermarket (and many other places of work) tomorrow and get a job. The fact is, those who say that they are out of work do not want these jobs and are unemployed by choice. Whilst there are unskilled expats with jobs, there are jobs available for any Caymanian who wants one.

  7. @ BigBerd and Polomol – absolutely agree.

    There is an endemic attitude in Cayman that every expat has taken a job that was a Caymanians by right. That fosters ill will in the expat community and the very skills which make them an asset here mean they are sought after around the world.

    Talk to any business in Cayman and you’ll have examples of individuals in immigration overstepping their authority to enforce that prejudice. Business and the economy suffer – and the result is less jobs all around.

    The way to get Caymanians trained is offer incentives to businesses – Train a Caymanian, Waive three Workpermit fees. Not use the work permit system as a big stick to beat businesses.

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