Jobless total falls to new low of 3.9%

| 22/09/2016 | 50 Comments

(CNS): A new Labour Force Survey has found that the total number of people out of work in the Cayman Islands this spring had fallen to 3.9%, the lowest jobless figure since 2007. The latest report from the Economics and Statistics Office indicates that the rate of unemployment among locals has also fallen significantly, from 8.3% in the spring of 2015 to 5.6% this spring. The government number-crunchers said that the official figure for unemployed Caymanians is now 1,111 people compared to 1,575 a year ago.

With overall unemployment falling in Cayman by a whopping 1.7%, Finance Minister Marco Archer said it illustrated the strength of the local economy. According to the survey, the population has also grown and now stands at 61,259 people, with 56.5% being Caymanian.

While many Caymanians still insist they are feeling the pinch and fighting to find work, the government statistics reflect a very different picture and point to an enviable jobless rate. But the one area marring the good news from the ESO was the level of unemployment among younger people. From the group of more than 1,600 who are looking for work and remain unemployed, half are under 34 and the unemployment rate for the under 24’s is almost 10%, with over 330 of the jobless being college educated.

The survey indicates that employment among Caymanians grew by 6.7%, with 1,174 locals joining the work force since spring last year. Non-Caymanian employment increased by 6.4%, or more than a thousand. The total increase in employment for residents with the right to work was 2%, or 78 people. But overall, more than 2,300 people were in a job, increasing the workforce to well over 40,200.

The report, which gives a comprehensive breakdown, also indicates that underemployment fell by over 20% compared to last year, but many people are still on low pay, with more than 16,500 people who answered the salary question earning under $2,400 per month

But with the dramatic fall in the overall rate, Archer put the good news down to improvements in the local economy.

“Employment statistics are an excellent benchmark of economic well-being of any economy,” he said following the report’s publication. “The 3.9% total unemployment rate is the lowest since 2007, with a high of 6.3% in 2011 and 2013, and indicates that we have a vibrant economy that is creating jobs.”

Archers said he was pleased to see that local employment accounted for the highest growth. “This is a significant achievement considering that in 2012, the unemployment rate for Caymanians was 10.5%,” he added.

The Labour Force Survey was published this week, alongside the latest Consumer Price Index and the quarterly trade statistics, which the minister also said illustrated that things were going well.

“Collectively, the reports confirm that based on the major indicators the Cayman Islands economy is performing well and poised for further improvement this year,” Archer stated. “Currently, inflation is under control, more persons are being employed and there is increased spending and investment within our economy,” the minister added in his comments about the reports.

See the full survey in the CNS Library

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Category: Economy, Jobs, Local News, Politics

Comments (50)

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  1. Certain Politicians Love it says:

    I guess things are improving I see Minister Panton has opened a Propane business now in addition to his Media Company and Law Firm. At least one Bodden Towner is getting rich and trying to switch

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why does no one ever comment on the 94.4% of Caymanians that have gainful employment, amazing with all the discrimination going on.

    If you are the 1 in 20 Caymanians not in work, ask some of your employed Caymanians for some tips

  3. Anonymous says:

    But I want a pony!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jobless rates have fallen. Really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly question the ESO statistics time and time again. However, it is what it is. But I still challenge the MLAs to should try living in the shoes of those who still are unemployed, want to work, can’t find work, and thus struggle day in and day out to just keep a roof over their heads and some food on the table. Then and only then, will I believe that they understand the full plight of the unemployed in these islands.

  5. Anonymous says:


    It is the silly season so why not some silly numbers…

    Marco ask all the Caymanians out of work whether your trumped up statistics are helping them.

    He who feels it , knows it…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Will there be any pension when the young gets to retirement age? No.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be up to the young people to save for

      • Anonymous says:

        don’t worry, the government will have “appropriated” all the expat pensions by then, that will be stuck in Cayman with the passing of the pensions law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, they give us $1000 a month now no matter how much we I guess it will be about $10 by then..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately the report shows a continued decline in GDP per capita. 3.7% increase in population (2.8% increase in Caymanian) year on year. Increase in GDP 2.1% per Marco.

    If you don’t get why that’s a problem you might want to read this:

    Bottom line is that Cayman is losing high paying jobs and industries (finance) and replacing them with low paying ones (tourism and construction).

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourism and Construction are both very well paying. I’ve worked in both fields. Tourism hourly wage is low, but, if you do a great job and show your guests a great time, the tips more than make up for it. Construction pays very well. Lots of low level laborers make between 10-12 CI per hour which is really good considering you don’t need an education or many skills to do it. Don’t get me started on upper level management wages…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Has anybody done any statistical analysis to show the correlation between number of expats holding work permits v’s local unemployment rates…. just saying…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, when work permits go up unemployment drops a few months later, when work permits drop unemployment increases a few months later. That is because a growing economy is good for local employment and the economy is not a zero sum game. But that is beyond the Ezzardites.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow. So what you’re saying is that expats create jobs and don’t steal jobs from the locals. This should be headlines news. I’m off to tell all my friends who work in the media.

  9. Stat Istician says:

    This means that Caymanian gayness, which currently sits at 4.3%, has finally surpassed Caymanian unemployment.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I know this is off topic but… The news headlines today are horrible! Child rape, child porn, rape of a helper. And our pastors and leaders are worried about two consenting adults getting married. WTF!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeh, you are right, its off topic. Why did you bother? You will be able to spit your venom when they are convicted or otherwise, call for deportation, debate if they are real Caymanians or not but you will have to wait until the comments section opens after conviction. Patience dear chap, patience.

  11. Anonymous says:

    more thanks to the efforts of people like dart than the efforts of the do-nothing ppm…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    The CIG statisticians are better at magic than Criss Angel.

  13. MM says:

    Where are these statistics drawn from exactly? Doe the government really believe that they can use statistics from the NWDA to accurately account for true numbers of the unemployed?

    First of all, no one cares to register at the NWDA; being registered alone will just about black-list you from getting a job in any company! Second, those who did register still maintain that being registered there in no way helped them to secure employment.

    And if unemployment is highest amidst the younger persons, does this not show particularly where the problems lie? Four years this government has been in and we are now seeing them jump out with all kinds of increased budgets, major hiring and new policies to combat a problem identified since the 1960’s!

    Parents – take keen interest in your children’s education, there have been many capable, bright and successful adults emerge from third-world education systems, DO NOT WAIT ON GOVERNMENT OR TEACHERS to save YOUR child!

    Government – for love of people and country; step down, please just step down! We beg you; do not even run again, please do not waste our time having to read your names on the election sheets in 2017; save the ink, save the trees, just step down!

    – The End

    • Anonymous says:

      You might want to read the “methodology” section on page 3 of the report before spouting off. It would have taken you less time than writing that comment. (Spoiler – it’s a telephone survey – not perfect but internationally standard). It’s got nothing to do with the numbers registered at the NWDA, thank the Lord.

      • MM says:

        So the telephone survey should be more reliable than the numbers from the NATIONAL workforce development agency? I would say either which way we go, we can all agree, something smells of BS in numbers.

        • Lee says:

          Hey, MM. Have you ever taken a statistics class before? If so, you’d know there are margins of error, so the results (unemployment figures) are either a few percent overestimated or underestimated. Its taken into account. Lol

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can we have a cost of living index that accurately reflects the outrageous prices all residents on island have to adhere to. This is pie in the sky if the ESO truly belief the supermarket cartel in particular have reduced prices.

    Furthermore, PPM have indeed made some strides to reduce the economical pinch but let us all be cognizant that the economic downturn is directly correlated with the drop in gas which has absolutely nothing to do with out local government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well all I can say is that 6 mths ago I knew 4 of my friends who were unemployed and all 4 are working now in good jobs.

      I know that more of my people are working and feeding their families.

      Thanks to all who made this happen. Let be greatful for a change.

      If the stats were the opposite we would blame the Government so who should we credit now ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well your four friends probably represent 100% of your total friends therefore we have 0% unemployment.

      • come on now 4???? says:

        I do not believe you! I think you are one of those PPM Bloggers they pay to post positive PPM propaganda. State your real name and I might believe what you are saying. I know someone who have been unemployed for 2 years and they have a University degree

    • MM says:

      If you visit the ESO website you will find that the Government revenue from gas duty has dropped significantly since the reduced the Government tax in order to help people with the madness of CUC bills that heightened due to the gas duty increase some years ago – however, money lost in one place must be gained in the next and the PPM have increased revenue from work permits…. oh well, has to come from somewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would not be politically expedient to publish that kind of information.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not a comment on this? No one cares about local people lol. It’s sad…..

    • Anonymous says:

      I care about the melodrama. Oh the melodrama.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is down further from 4.2% from Fall 2015, which was lowest unemployment rate since pre-recession 2008. Meanwhile, Alden and CNS were stewing the pot and promoting a completely fictitious 8% unemployment figure in Jan 2016.

  16. Anonymous says:


    …it’s politricks time again!

  17. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  18. Anonymous says:

    More fantasy island stuff from ppm ask the thousands who are hurting and jobless.

  19. Getta Jobs (no relation) says:

    The myth continues! “Unemployable Rate Falls to 3.9%” would be a far more accurate representation.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM shill, try so shut the hell up, propagating the propaganda. Old sell out, can’t stand people like you.

  20. Anonymous says:

    this is impossible!

    remember when they just announced that 6K more expat permits were created. And the crowd was like Rabble rabble rabble “Dey tuk R Jawbs”

    And someone tried to be the voice of reason, saying more permits means a trickle down effect which causes jobs to be created for Caymanians

    and the crowd went Rabble rabble rabble “Not true”

    and low and behold….3.9%….RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. …..sticks collective heads in sand.

    *heads in sand, waits until the permits are gone and unemployment goes back up to say “SEE…Dey tuk r jawbs!” RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

    I guess it was even pointless to write up this spoof. You wont’ get it or accept it unless you want to. No matter how much logic and common sense dictates.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The figure is starting to get close to too low and it will start to get inflationary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Eh? You think the local labour supply has any affect on labour prices? Reducing Caymanian unemployment will more likely reduce labour costs (by making it easier to get permits for lower-paid overseas workers).

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for temporary ditch-digging jobs Marco….hope you are there soon regardless of your permit revenue driven surplus.

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