The overall unemployment rate in the Cayman Islands declined to 4.2 per cent in the third quarter of last year, the lowest it has been in eight years. At the same time unemployment among Caymanians is also sliding, down to 6.2 percent – a fall of nearly two per cent compared to the 7.9 per cent recorded at the same time in 2014.
The findings were released this week by the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) in its Labour Force Survey Report Fall 2015. It also released a report on overall economic performance for the third quarter, which showed growth of 1.5 per cent in the first nine months of the year.
“The continued decline in the Caymanian unemployment rate from 9.4 per cent in 2013 to 6.2 per cent in 2015, is the outcome of deliberate economic policies and strategies bearing fruit,” Finance and Economic Development Minister Marco Archer said.
He said this was achieved through cooperation and hard work between the business community, the public sector and the wider society.
“While the steady decline is commendable, much more can be accomplished as a country if we continue to combine our efforts and rally behind sound public policies toward achieving full employment for Caymanians in the medium term,” Mr Archer added.
“I recognise that achieving full employment for Caymanians in the medium term may not be easy but it is also not impossible and requires additional training, a positive attitude and a willingness to offer employment opportunities.”
A closer look at the figures shows if you are unemployed, there’s a good chance that you are under 45 years-old (72.6 per cent) and have been looking for work for more than a year (48.6 per cent).
More than a third of the men out of a job were found to be under 25 years-old (35.7 per cent), while with women more than half were between the ages of 25 and 44 (26.6 per cent among 25-34s and 26.4 per cent among 35-44 year-olds).
The most popular steps taken by those in search of jobs were asking friends, sending resumes and contacting employers directly. A little over a third of jobless people (33.4 per cent) said they registered with government’s National Development Workforce Agency (NWDA).
When asked how long they were without work, nearly half (48.6 per cent) said at least 12 months, 9.3 per cent said seven to 12 moths, 25 per cent said three to six months, and 17.1 per cent said less than three months.
Sales and service workers were the largest group in search of work (32.2 per cent), followed by elementary occupations (15.6 per cent), and technicians and associate professionals (15.2 per cent).
Meantime, overall economic activity in the Cayman Islands’ grew by an estimated 1.6 per cent in the first nine months of 2015.
“Since the beginning of 2013, the local economy averaged 1.5 per cent real GDP growth, that is, 10 of the last 11 quarters recorded positive economic growth. The re-emergence of the local economy on a continuous growth path was achieved through sustainable fiscal policies, improved efficiency in the public sector, and the facilitation of private sector development,” said he Finance and Economic Development Minister.
GDP growth was contributed by a number of sectors led by financing and insurance services, real estate, renting and business activities, electricity and water supply, and storage and other services.
“I am also pleased to note that economic growth was achieved in the midst of continued improvement in our fiscal performance and the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] has confirmed their agreement that the government is compliant with the cash reserve days as required by the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR),” Mr Archer added.