Yesterday the Statistical Institute of Belize held a press conference in Belize City where they released a number of findings including the Consumer Price Index and External Trade which we spoke to you about in last night’s newscast. What we did not touch basis on is the information released on the Labor Force Survey.
The report shows that unemployment rate reduced slightly from 11.7 percent in April of 2013 to 11.1 percent in April this year. This means that as of April this year, there are approximately sixteen thousand seven hundred men and women who are unemployed. That’s six hundred and seventy five less unemployed persons compared to April of 2013 when 17,375 were jobless.
According to the report, only the Belize District experienced a higher rate of unemployment in April this year when compared to the same month last year. The increase was due mostly to workers entering the labour force at a much faster rate than jobs were being created in the district. It is believed that the heightened construction activity in Belize City may have made many residents more hopeful about obtaining employment.
The sort of good news is that in other districts, the rate of joblessness fell or remained the same. In Toledo and Stann Creek, the unemployment rate fell by as much as one half. The decrease in the Toledo rate is attributed to unemployed workers dropping out of the labour force. In the Stann Creek District, unemployment rate fell due to a significant increase in job opportunities in the agriculture sector.
At a national level, the number of unemployed workers fell to approximately 16,700 while the number of employed workers expanded by 3,200 to roughly 134,600. The Belize and Stann Creek Districts accounted for the largest growth in jobs, the majority of which were produced in the construction and agriculture sectors.
The SIB findings also showed that unemployment rate among women was about three times that of men, at 19.4 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. The youth unemployment rate improved slightly from 22 percent to 20 percent. Garifuna workers continued to experience the highest rate of unemployment despite their rate falling by as much as 4 percentage points from a year ago. Creole workers experienced the second highest rate at 16 percent while Maya workers again recorded the lowest unemployment rate, 4.5 percent.
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