Job trends stay steady

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Recently released government figures show employment in the Cayman Islands continues to hinge on the offshore finance and tourism sectors, with significant numbers of Caymanians also working in the construction industry and “general public administration”. 

Meanwhile, non-Caymanians still dominate occupations related to restaurants, “administrative and support service” and household work. However, the figures contained in the Economics and Statistics Office’s Compendium of Statistics 2012 appear to indicate that more Caymanians have “households as employers” than a couple of years prior. 

Top sectors 

The annual report contains data comparing employment by immigration status and occupation for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. 

From 2010-2012, the largest percentage jump in employment for a specific industry occurred in “manufacturing, mining and quarrying”. Over that time, the number of workers in that industry grew from 806 to about 1,212, an increase of 50 per cent (accounting for 3 per cent of the country’s total employed workforce in 2012). The number of Caymanians in that industry grew from 313 to 616, an increase of 97 per cent. 

While that industry was not highlighted in the text of the report, a significant amount of aggregate was needed for major development projects in 2012, including the Dart Group’s extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway into West Bay. 

Overall, the “wholesale and retail” industry was the country’s top source of employment in 2012, accounting for 4,676 jobs, or 13 per cent of the total employed workforce of 36,401 people. The next top industries were construction (11 per cent), “households as employers” (9 per cent), financial services (9 per cent), general public administration (8 per cent), “professional, scientific and technical activities” (7 per cent), restaurants (6 per cent), administrative and support activities (6 per cent) and accommodation (6 per cent). 

Although the report does not break out Cayman’s two most important sectors of offshore finance and tourism, their impact is apparent if one considers the combined weight of the specified industries of – in the case of offshore finance – financial services, professional activities, administrative activities, etc., and – in the case of tourism – retail, restaurants, accommodation, etc. 

By status 

While some 88 per cent of the country’s 3,361 household workers are non-Caymanians, the number of Caymanians who work in homes grew from 261 in 2010 to 416 in 2012, an increase of 59 per cent. 

Besides that category, the industries with the highest percentages of non-Caymanians are restaurants (78 per cent non-Caymanian) and administrative and support service activities (74 per cent non-Caymanian). Employment in the construction industry is 62 per cent non-Caymanian, according to 2012 figures. 

Conversely, the industry with the highest percentage of Caymanian workers is “electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, water supply and sewage”, with 96 per cent of the industry’s 527 workers being Caymanian. 

Other industries that are heavily Caymanian are financial services (73 per cent Caymanian), transportation and storage (69 per cent) and general public administration (68 per cent). 

An earlier Caymanian Compass analysis of government jobs data showed that government service was responsible for about 15 per cent of total jobs, and about 25 per cent of jobs held by Caymanians.  

From 2010-2012, the total employed workforce grew from 34,214 to 36,401, an increase of 6 per cent. The number of employed Caymanians grew from 15,543 to 16,494, an increase of 7 per cent. The number of employed non-Caymanians grew from 18,761 to 19,907, an increase of 6 per cent. 

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Construction jobs accounted for 11 per cent of Cayman’s workforce in 2012.
Photo: Chris Court
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