The overall unemployment rate in the Cayman Islands rose in spring to 5.6 percent, up almost a full point since late 2014, according to data from the Economics and Statistics Office.
This is the first time since 2002 that government has produced a spring labor report along with its annual fall report.
Caymanian unemployment rose at a lower rate, increasing less than half of 1 percent to 8.3 percent. The underemployment rate – people working part-time or looking for more work – fell from 2.9 percent in fall 2014 to 2.5 percent this spring.
Finance Minister Marco Archer said it could be misleading to compare the new unemployment numbers to six months earlier.
“This is the first time that we are doing a spring labor force survey in 10 years,” he said, “and the spring unemployment rate has always been higher than the fall.
“In the fall you’re building up to the tourism season … so there are greater opportunities for employment. In April, there is some downsizing because the high season is over. We don’t have 10 years of data comparison for the spring,” he added, noting that he asked the Economics and Statistics Office to retrieve earlier data for comparison, if possible.
Most of the unemployment increase is from permanent residents with the right to work and non-Caymanians, Mr. Archer said.
“Notwithstanding an increase in unemployment, total employment expanded by 0.5 percent to 37,900, an indication that the local economy remains on the growth path,” he said.