Unemployment rate drops to 2.8%; lowest rate since 2006

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Estimates from the Fall 2018 Labour Force Survey show that the unemployment rate has fallen to 2.8%, the lowest rate since the second half of 2006, when it stood at 2.6%. Caymanian unemployment has fallen to 4.6%, which is also the lowest it has been since 2006 when it bottomed out at 3.6%.

Overall unemployment is now significantly lower than in the second half of 2017 when the unemployment rate was 4.9%, and lower than in spring 2018 when the rate had already dropped to 3.4%.

The decline in unemployment coincided with a 7.5% rise in the total labour force, which reached 46,178 workers in 2018, the highest number to date.

Based on the survey, the Economics and Statistics Office estimates that 44,887 people were employed in Cayman’s economy, an increase of 9.9% compared to a year earlier. In contrast, 1,291 people were seeking work, a decline of 38.1% from the same period in 2017.

The growing labour force is in line with Cayman’s population growth.

The Labour Force Survey estimates that Cayman’s population expanded by 3.8% last year to reach 65,813 in December 2018. The Caymanian population increased 2.3% to 36,705, whereas the non-Caymanian population is estimated to have grown by 5.1% to 23,168.

Long-term data shows that the growth in the labour force and in the number of foreign workers did not impact the total number of out-of-work Caymanians, which peaked at close to 2,000 in 2012. Since then the labour force increased from 38,800 to nearly 46,200 today, while the number of unemployed Caymanians halved to 996.

The unemployment rate among Non-Caymanians also fell from 2.1% in December 2017 to 0.5%, but permanent residents with the right to work saw their unemployment rate move from 4.4% to 4.7%. The PR population jumped from 5,488 in the fall of 2017 to 5,940 persons in 2018.

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