The unemployment rate in the Cayman Islands has risen to 5.6 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Economics and Statistics Office. That is up from 4.7 per cent this time last year.
The findings were published in the “The Cayman Islands’ Labour Force Survey Report Spring 2015”.
“The number of unemployed residents reached 2,248,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister Marco Archer. “This is higher by 389 persons compared to Fall 2014, but majority of this increase comprised of Permanent Residents with rights to work, and Non-Caymanians,” he added.
There were 1,575 Caymanians unemployed, with 351 permanent residents with right to work who were seeking employment. There were 323 non-Caymanians who were jobless.
The majority, 79.3 per cent, of the unemployed stated that they had worked before, and 48.8 per cent have been without work for more than twelve (12) months
The 35-44 age group had the largest number of people without jobs (600), with the 25-34 age group next (454), followed by the 45-54 (442).
The number of women without work was noticeably higher than men, 1,251 to 997. People with only high school education were more likely to be without a job (1,333), while 415 college or university graduates were not employed.
“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,” Mr Archer said further.
The report also found that the underemployment rate among residents fell in Spring 2015 to 2.5 per cent from 2.9 per cent in Fall 2014. The underemployed, which numbered 948 persons, are those with part-time work and were available and seeking for more work.
A new Labour Force Survey is being undertaken this month.
The Economics and Statistics Office also reported that total payments for imports by residents of the Cayman Islands continued its downward trend in the second quarter.
The total value of all merchandise goods imported into the Cayman Islands amounted to $182.9 million, nine per cent lower compared the same period in 2014.
“The decline reflects the sustained reduction in the value of petroleum and related products resulting from the lower prices in the international market compared to a year ago,” explained Mr Archer.
Non-petroleum products, which accounted for 84.8 per cent of total imports, fell at a comparatively lower rate (0.9%).
Among major sub-categories of non-petroleum imports, professional equipment including medical equipment registered the steepest contraction of 65.3 percent. “This may be associated with the normalization of medical equipment imports following a build-up in 2014,” the Minister noted.