Employment in Cayman hits record high

The total number of employed people in the Cayman Islands hit another new high as the local economy continued to grow through the first half of 2017.

According to recently released data from the Economics and Statistics Office, there were 41,764 people working in Cayman at the end of last June, which marks a new high over the 40,411 people employed here at the end of 2016.

The Economics and Statistics Office stated that employment increased among both Caymanians and non-Caymanians, but did not provide exact numerical figures in its report. The number of work permit holders increased from 24,277 in Q1 of 2017 to 24,724 in Q2, the report states.

The increase in employment helped contribute to the territory’s unemployment slightly dipping from 4.2 percent at the end of 2016 to 4.1 percent at the end of last June.

The statistics also state that the domestic economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent in the first half of 2017 over the same period in 2016. The 2.8-percent growth rate in Q2 of 2017 was also an increase on the 2-percent growth rate in Q1.

The Economics and Statistics Office stated the economic performance in Q2 of last year was driven by growth in trade (4.1 percent), electricity and water supply (4.1 percent), construction (4 percent), and hotels and restaurants (2.9 percent). The finance and insurance services sector also grew by 1.4 percent in the first half of 2017, the report states.

The Economics and Statistics Office reported mixed results within the financial services industry, with some sectors shrinking and other sectors growing.

In the offshore banking sector, another “Class B” bank – institutions that are restricted to conducting business offshore with non-residents – left the territory during Q2, putting the total of Class B banks at the end of last June at 147. The banking industry has been diminishing steadily since the early 2000s, when there were more than 500 banks in Cayman.

The number of insurance licenses also fell to 730 at the end of last June from 738 at the end of June 2016.

The number of mutual funds also decreased to 10,621 at the end of last June from 11,019 in June 2016.

However, the number of stocks listed on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange increased to 1,063 through the first half of 2017.

Company formations also increased in the first half of 2017, reversing the decline that took place over the same period a year before. A 9.9-percent increase in company incorporations in the first six months of last year was a mirror opposite of the 9.9-percent decline during the first half of 2016, according to the Economics and Statistics Office.

There were 96,248 companies registered in Cayman at the end of 2016. Updated statistics on the total number of companies here have not been released yet.

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