Labor survey goes to twice a year

The annual Labour Force Survey will go to a new twice yearly schedule this month to give a more accurate picture of the Cayman economy, according to the government Economic and Statistics Office.

The survey, which has been conducted annually every October, will also be carried out in April, as of this year. The survey collects data on unemployment, demographics and employment details by industry. The spring survey will run for a month beginning April 26.

Finance Minister Marco Archer said the biannual survey “is expected to present a more accurate picture of the employment situation in the country as it takes into account the seasonality of employment opportunities.”

Economic and Statistics Officer Director Maria Zingapan told the Cayman Compass that the additional survey in April will cost $40,000 to $45,000 each year.

The most recent survey, conducted in October 2014 and released in March 2015, showed that the population hit a record high of 58,000. It found almost 40,000 people in the labor force, and that the unemployment rate had hit its lowest point – 4.7 percent – since the global recession.

The unit last did a spring survey in 2007, but then pulled back the program due to budget cutbacks, said senior statistician Andrelene Royal.

The statistics office hires temporary employees to conduct the fieldwork for the labor surveys, which involve questions about employment, including salary, hours worked and industry, and basic demographic information such as age, immigration status and education level.

Interviewers visit 1,400 randomly selected households in a month across all three islands for the survey.

In an earlier press statement, Ms. Zingapan said, “The interviews are confidential, and no individual data will be used for publication or disclosed to parties outside of the ESO.

“ESO survey data are exempt from Freedom of Information.”