Local jobless rate rises as labour force grows

| 05/04/2017 | 73 Comments

(CNS): The percentage of unemployed Caymanians in October 2016 increased by nearly 1% over the previous year as a result of a 3.3% increase in the size of the overall workforce across the islands. But according to the 2016 autumn Labour Force Survey, 159 more local people had jobs than in October 2015 because the number of people either in work or looking for work has also grown. The figures reflect a number of seasonal and fundamental changes, including the increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65 and the introduction of the minimum wage.

The mixed results in the survey, released Wednesday, show that in October last year the labour force (people in work or people looking for work) stood at 42,196 people, including both locals and ex-pats, compared to 40,870 people in October 2015. This means there were more local job-seekers competing in the market.

The survey found that 40,411 people were in work, including 19,931 Caymanians, an increase from October 2015 of 1.8%, even though the percentage of unemployed Caymanians had grown. But the non-Caymanian labour force grew even more to 17,687 work permit holders or people waiting for residency decisions, an increase of 3.9% compared to October 2015.

The increase in the overall labour force of 1.8% led to the Caymanian unemployment rate rising from 6.2% in October 2015 to 7.1% in October 2016, but the overall rate remained stable at 4.2%. Officials from the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) explained that more Caymanians were making themselves available for work in October 2016, compared to the same time the previous year.

“A number of reasons could have motivated more Caymanians to enter the Labour Force in October 2016,” said Finance Minister Marco Archer. “The sustained economic recovery, evidenced by a stronger-than-expected growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.8% in 2015 and the estimated GDP growth of 3% as of the first half of 2016, could have encouraged job searches in the second half of 2016.”

But the minister also pointed out that the age of pension entitlement was increased to age 65 in May 2016, which could have inspired people 60 and older to re-enter the labour force. In addition, the minimum wage was implemented in March 2016, which could also have encouraged younger workers to make greater efforts towards getting a job, he suggested.

Although the numbers show an increase in local people getting work and a growth in the number of jobs, there were still more local people looking for work. There survey found an estimated 1,406 jobless Caymanians and around 17,000 work-permit holders.

Among the unemployed Caymanians in October 2016, 19.7% were previously employed in the construction sector.

“When compared to the October 2015 Labour Force Survey results, the increase in unemployed Caymanians by 197 persons may be due to the completion of major construction projects,” Archer said. “As new projects are foreseen to start in 2017, it is expected that these persons could be re-absorbed by new job opportunities.”

The overall unemployment rate in October 2016 of 4.2% was the lowest among the published unemployment rates for the region.

The Cayman Islands’ Labour Force Survey for March 2017 is currently being conducted.

See the Cayman Islands’ Labour Force Survey Report: October 2016

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Comments (73)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The myth continues. How many employable Caymanians are truly unemployed? A very short list.

    • Anonymous says:

      great baseless statement…..at least throw out some impossible to prove statistics….ure an idiot

  2. Anonymous says:

    Reeling here in the irony and absurdity of this thread when compared to sentiments that carried the Brexit and Trump votes.

    It is either ignorance or bias, or the combination thereof, that is responsible for such remarks.

    Anyway, were there not an overabundance of slave-wages (and workers) in the Cayman Islands (e.g. some are even reduced to entertain “offers-to-treat” sexual favours from aspiring local politicians) AND the undeniable reality of discrimination against Caymanians in the workforce (or preference for immigrants often by other, or former, immigrants) some of these comments could be taken seriously.
    However, we all know the truth in those respects.

    At the end of the day, we are seeing an increase in unemployment and poverty which is correlating directly with a rise in crime and instability not present in this country until very recently.

    Eff’ each and every despicable prick that chooses to frame this discussion along the typical, western playbook of “pull up your bootstraps”. (We all know what that means.)

    I remind such individuals we grew up in a country where everyone’s boots were tight and work-worn. Where the middle-class was standard and that standard was in fact equivalent to the upper-class of America, Canada, and the “mother country”.

    (E.g. I challenge every Caymanian between the ages of 20 – 45 to ask an equally aged colleague or friend from any of the aforementioned countries whether they had a live-in maid / housekeeper whilst growing up. Prepare to be enlightened.)

    The problem was and remains that many from those parts of the world simply cannot fathom and come to terms with such a reality. History has proven time and again that some cultures are immune to sharing and crippled by a sense of inherent superiority…even if it results in an increasingly negative environment as a whole.

    (I.e. Stubborn refusal to acknowledge and address discrimination as a means to improve the society we all “share”. Some folks seem to believe their kids are somehow immune to the rage of a hungry man.)

    (This is the pathology and mindset of those that Caymanians “partnered with” to bring about this “economic miracle”. Caymanians were never the intended beneficiaries of said miracle – they did so primarily for self and group.
    Had our past leaders educated themselves beyond that of a colonial-endorsed syllabus they would have been acutely aware and on-guard for the ribbon-wrapped deception that was on offer.)

    Hence the typically prejudiced and dismissive attitudes on forums like CNS as its contributors pretend to not comprehend the basic rules of economy and how it translates to a society’s standard of existence.
    Instead they choose to interpret the current situation in accordance to the rhetoric to which they have been socially programmed in their home countries.

    Lastly, I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the role that some Caymanians have played in bringing us to this position. To those I will simply say; “Da rooster dun crow.”. However, many within that particular group never considered themselves as part and equal to the wider community in the first place. We know the reasons why – no need for elaboration.

    (Interestingly, many of those same Caymanian families are now finding themselves relegated to the fringes of the inner-circle – bewildered with shock as what they perceived as guaranteed attributes of inclusion is now a devalued currency. Some reduced to the most shameful and embarrassing sources of illegal income.)

    It is a sad state of affairs. However, more crucially, it is very dangerous state of affairs.

    As usual, this post will be negatively rated, the author will be inundated with ad hominem attacks and the CNS crowd will work their usual magic, however, it is what it is.

    Happy Friday.

    – Who

    * (Clarification): Immigrants = Expats.

    ** (Necessary changes): Education. Vocational training. Expansion of “acceptable” career choices. Overhaul of economic valuation of modified career choices. Investment in our people. Consumer protection. Restriction of “starter jobs” to Caymanians only. Removal / reduction of the “3rd Industry” aka work permit fees.

    *** Only Caymanians can fix the problems we are facing. No group of outsiders or new-arrivals will ever do this, nor should we expect or wish them to.

    **** The statement immediately above will boil the blood of every two-faced, bad-minded outsider … go figure eh?

    • rollin says:

      blah blah blah I hate expats. For those with no time to spare this is literally what is being said here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is a microcosm of the world, it may have some more control on who it lets into the country but it is following the rest of the world’s direction. That template is one where those running the shop get paid more and more, and the worker gets paid less and less, the old middle class is disappearing. I’m afraid that your rallying cry is one at a changing world, and not necessarily just Cayman. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know you can’t go backwards, at least not on your own.

      Jobs are being replaced by cheaper expats, who will eventually get replaced by technology or whatever is cheaper and more efficient than they are. It’s a bit depressing, and yes, resigned, but the current future. Cayman will slow that decline through its protectionist policies, but eventually even that will fail due to the outsourcing of jobs to cheaper places. Once you needed to be living and working in Cayman, now you can be anywhere in the world and appear to do so, Law firms, Banks, Fund administrators are all the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your opinion. In my opinion, your reality (live-in maid/housekeeper) was a fallacy. Folks were doing these things to “keep up with the others”, when in reality they would have been further ahead putting that money into their mortgage, spending it on improving the skills of themselves or their children.
      Fancy things (cars, boats, trips, housekeepers, etc.) have zero long term benefit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, gee – if only we had enough sense to figure that out.

        Thank you so very much.

        No wonder we never see maids pulling into grocery store parking lots in their designated “errands car” nowadays.

        – Who

        * Interesting how that disease-infested programming commands one to assume the worst of “others”.

        • Anonymous says:

          To “who”; thank you for your very well-written post.

          You should know it would upset many, but the truth is always offensive to those who do not want to hear or see it.

          I am grateful that you took the time to set the record straight; and there is nothing biased or prejudiced in your post towards expats.

          Signed: Native

      • Anonymous says:

        Btw, the maid reference was primarily to illustrate the wider points of; disposable income, home ownership, land ownership, extra-room-in-the-house ownership…along with all the rest; family trips abroad, shopping trips, 2 cars in the garage, low divorce rate, well-raised kids, etc.

        That was standard.

        During university i couldn’t find 5 Brits in a study group able to relate.

        Just saying.

        – Who

        • Anonymous says:

          That is because Brits don’t do study groups. It is an American affectation.

          • Anonymous says:

            They also don’t enjoy a high standard of living as we do in the Cayman Islands.

            Hence the desperate attempts to never leave – to the extent of comparing themselves to political refugees in the UK and EU as they cry for their “human rights” in this backward and culture-less country.

            This generation of Caymanians have finally realized the actual value of their nationality and birthright and are now acting accordingly.

            This is the nightmare of those that have always wished us harm and disenfranchisement.

            Every expat must understand they are the equivalent of an immigrant in their home country. I conducted myself as such when I lived in another country and had enough respect and decency to understand I was owed nothing.

            – Whodatis

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe they do at red-bricks so the majority have a place to moan about how they never really wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge anyway.

        • Fred says:

          Where did you go to university?

    • Anonymous says:

      He writes like a 12 year old. A rude twelve year old, but a 12 year old.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Many of our politicians can’t get and hold proper jobs and that is why they run for election and why we have so many brainless people up in there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    govt loses vital work permit fees when they encourage businesses to hire caymanians? we have govt to blame….sooner or later there will be a revolution….

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you vote in Alden the worst is yet to come. He will continue to destroy Caymanians opportunities in their own country. I suggest you vote Dr. Frank…he can’t do nearly as much damage as Alden has done and is likely to continue to do.
    And Alden if you think you are buying votes for next election, just look at the way your new PR group shows their appreciation for the opportunity to become citizens….whinging and lawsuits

  6. Anonymous says:

    So we all know that not all of the 4-5% of unemployed Caymanians are really interested in a 9-5, show up every day kind of job. If you are the exception and you really want a job but can’t find work, you might want to re-evaluate yourself. Take a look at the people that have the kind of job you want … do you have the same skills, attitude, aptitude, pace of work, etc.?
    If so, don’t give up, you will find work. If not, better yourself. Get off the entitlement train and make things happen for yourself. The Government doesn’t owe you a thing. Being Caymanian is not a skill or a job qualification. Don’t expect employers to lower the bar for you just because of who you for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians have never been fond of slavery. Take your culture elsewhere.

      • Diogenes says:

        Before 1835 quite a number of Cayman’s leading families were very fond of slavery indeed.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you consider slavery and working hard as one in the same, there really is no hope for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, having to get up every day , on time, and show up is slavery all right. It’s called RESPONSIBILITY.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Thank you SO much 7:50. You completely expressed that which I tried to earlier. Caymanians should be proud, but that is not enough. We should show reason for being proud, and much of that is providing for your family and honouring your responsibilities.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The numbers are Bullshit. There are (as a matter of fact – not guesswork – 24,077 expat workers in Cayman actually working according to recently published immigration statistics and these numbers may not include PR holders or the spouses of Caymanians. Even then, if the survey has any accuracy, and there are indeed 40,411 people actually in work then it is not possible for there to be any more than 16,334 Caymanians actually working – some 3,597 fewer than suggested.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Plenty of us foreigners take jobs that Caymanians don’t want, but mostly because of the small pay. Hotel staff, drivers, cashiers, construction laborers are amongst the low-paying jobs that people like me are finding here in the Cayman Islands (and yes I am one of the thousands of Filipino’s here).

    Other Filipinos and I keep finding that there are more jobs available and our Caymanian bosses will ask us if we know anybody looking for work. No problem, can get you somebody from my country here very quickly.

    I know that plenty of Caymanians hate people like me, but I came here to work and support my family back home. I buy food, pay rent, pay my electric and water, so how am I hurting the economy.

    Lastly, I would not be here in the Cayman Islands if a Caymanian did not take out a work permit for me, so don’t blame me, blame the Caymanian who hired me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 4:57 am thank you for this post. I really respect it. It is so true, the jobs that are taken by foreign workers in many cases aren’t being applied for by Caymanians. I also respect you have a family to take care of. I wish more of us Caymanians saw the world as an opportunity and not just Cayman. Success doesn’t have to happen in Cayman, venture out to other countries the same way all the foreigners in Cayman have done and see what amazing opportunities there are. There is no shame in that. I know so many who released themselves from this fishbowl and went on the travel and have great experiences that when they came back to Cayman assured them success here.

      • Anonymous says:

        I totally agree – I hope that my kids who were born to a Caymanian parent and raised here decide to not come back to Cayman for a good while after they finish their university education and rather obtain some experience elsewhere. It is heartbreaking to see how some parents suffered to put their kids through university and yet those kids can’t even get an entry level position in their own country because the jobs are taken by Temps so the companies do not have to pay the full overhead for that employee!

    • Anonymous says:

      The level of written English here seems awfully good for a philipino. Having said that it seems too good for a caymanian either…..

      • Anonymous says:

        “It seems too good for a Caymanian either” is also grammatically incorrect. So where are you from? And by the way the person pointing out your failure at written English is a Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most of us Filipino’s learn English during our primary school years – my English is better than some – thanks for the indirect compliment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you mean hundreds of philipinos, not thousands?

    • Anonymous says:

      Very valid points, especially the last sentence. But there is one big point you forgot to mention……….The difference is that with a salary the jobs you listed pay, you can support your family in the Philippines as the cost of living over there is a tiny fraction of what it is here. A Caymanian cannot support his/her family locally on a wage of
      $ 300/week a cashier makes at Fosters.

      I assume you share your apartment with a few room mates as you are single over here. Is a family of 4 supposed to share an apartment with several room mates also?

      The problem is that salaries and cost of living in Cayman are completely out of proportion and that businesses have gotten used to getting away with hiring people on a below average wage, and cutting overhead by not paying pension or health insurance for their employees, no overtime, no vacation pay and now Caymanians are expected to settle for this circumvention of the law by many businesses so their owner can get richer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hang on. Persons need to be responsible for themselves. Who decided on a “family of 4” if the only income they were capable of was a cashier at a supermarket?
        Also too many only see the immediate. What if the cashier job lead to cashier supervisor which led to customer service supervisor which led to …..
        Do not just look at a current pay cheque. Look at where it can lead you if you apply yourself and increase your skills as you progress.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many of your friends have moved their family over here which is supported by the person who got work in those jobs you describe above? Let me guess – none!

      Isn’t it ironic that immigration won’t allow you to bring your family (ie dependents) as the jobs you describe don’t pay a salary that can maintain a family of 4 here on Island, yet Caymanians are expected to manage?

      Something is wrong with this line of thinking……….

  9. Anonymous says:

    And may the good Lord help us if the NWDA or DLP is meant to assist us. These 2 offices are the most useless waste of government funds though there are a few other departments aaas well. The NWDA should stand for Never Want to Do Anything as they are clueless and hopeless to what should be done. As for the DLP, that acronym should stand for Don’t Leave Positive as most times when you go there you leave even more hopeless than when you went in. Now by no stretch of the mind am I saying that there are not a few good people working in those offices- cause they are however, the workload can’t and shouldn’t be dropped on 2 or 3 persons. The new administration that comes in shortly MUST take a hard line approach to the labor situation in Cayman and deal with it in a very stern and assertive manner. If not, I fear that by 2019, there will be social unrest in this country to a degree that we have never seen before.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:53pm I am hoping to see that day of social unrest sooner than you think. Let start now not later. Why should Caymanians wait on the crumbs to fall from the tables? We must get or act together and let those who run us down see what we can do.
      The young Caymanians, who have returned from studying overseas and are told they don’t have any experience for the jobs, they all need to form a group and show them what they can do. Start with an demonstration in front of those offices and increase their momentum. How did the people they have employed got their experience? The time fir change is now. If Caymanians cannot survive in their own country, why should the elites who call the Cayman Islands home be allowed to? Caymanians first and work permit holders next.

  10. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    When are we going to stand up and be responsible for ourselves? I sure as hell don’t expect the CIG to create a job for me. If a person is able-bodied, there is work. May not be the golden job you want. I have never quit a job without something better lined up. That’s what people who take responsibility for themselves and their families DO.

    Government has responsibilities — infrastructure, STIMULATING the economy, promulgating and enforcing laws, etc. I don’t always think they do the best that could be done, however I think it’s unreasonably to expect the government to take care of my needs if I’m not willing to step up and work. A hand up, certainly, for those who need it. Hand-outs for the able but unwilling, no.

    I’m tired of working to fund those who could work and chose not to.

    • Anonymous says:

      All many of us are asking is for the enforcement of the immigration laws and regulations that have been developed over the years but are being ignored because the Premier believes his vague and shallow ideas are better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mind you he’s too afraid of the uproar if he tries to changes the laws regulations so instead just makes it policy to ignore them….not a lot of courage in that fellow.

      • Anonymous says:

        Resurrect the Caymanian Protection Board. Term limits on Permits. Temp agencies should have to apply and pay for permits in the same manner as others. Persons employed through those agencies are a part of the employment problems. Six months here and there and the continuos revolving door of six months, forever. Hello! How long should this continue?? Change must come!

    • Anonymous says:

      You must live on Cayman Brac – when I visited there last week I saw plenty of people loitering about, especially near the church/post office in watering place.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how Alden Marco and the progressives will spin these facts?

  12. Treasonous Clowns says:

    Proof is in the article – The numbers don’t lie.

    Stop acting blind & deaf because things are going “good” for you and yours!!

    What do you all wish to address locally that can offer Insight and Guidance – especially to the Government who you ALL ACTUALLY NEED? Nothing? Not a darn thing…Just ready to reap, reap reap fruits….?

    -Local Education standards? M.I.A, though many of us are educated on par with you sharks!
    -Caymanian/Caribbean Ethnic discrimination? Just read these comments..But Caymanian Dollars are nice right?!
    -Job Wuk Experience? Tons of us have it – from banking to fishing and all in between! Not said by Tara Rivers for sure!
    -Caymanian Unemployment? Read the article again!
    -Work Permit $$ to greedy gov? Go’s without saying, this is why and how most y’all are here besides the cash.
    -PR Points for the joggers and “crisis-er’s” – Same as above, be honest with yourself – because I don’t know you, prob never will either.

    So assuming the general public of “Caymanians” are included in these prejudice comments – one can only assume how much of you all are racist against your OWN people too…


    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty sad if your strategy for getting a good job is to hope government forces somebody to hire you. Get off your ass and take responsibility for yourself. The old people used to say “You can’t eat pride”. Still holds true.

      • Anonymous says:

        All we need is Companies to adhere to (and immigration dept and boards to enforce) the laws of the country they are doing business in. If a suitably qualified Caymanian is available then you must hire them…not your expatriate buddy or any other expat simply because you’re kind of a dick (which it sounds like you are) and like the indentured nature of the work permit.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Statistics-does anyone remember not so long ago reading that there were 21,000 WP holders? Is this election fiddling?

  14. Anonymous says:

    So the idea that “more work permits = more jobs for Caymanians” does not hold true. Not surprised.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except that in numbers more Caymanians are employed, but don’t let facts get in the way…

      • Anonymous says:

        In the line up for Caymanians, I would like a breakdown of Status, PR, Temps, then the light would shine more clearly on the indigenous job holders.

        • Diogenes says:

          If you actually read the report you would see that PR holders and Temps are excluded from the Caymanian numbers. As for status – there is no differentiation in law between someone who has status through birth and someone who acquires it 15 years after arriving here or under the 2004 status grants. Status is a misnomer – you either have the right to be Caymanian (granted by the Status Board or Cabinet) and are Caymanian, or you do not, and are a PR holder or here on a work permit.

    • Anonymous says:

      I read that as 159 more Caymanians were employed than in 2015, and that work permits went up as well. How is that not “more work permits = more jobs for Caymanians”? The report shows that there are more Caymanians entering the workforce than can be absorbed, or employed. This means that either school leavers are ill prepared and not finding jobs, or those losing their jobs aren’t finding new ones. The survey leaves too many unanswered questions to make any sort of informed finding.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hope the voting population take note of this!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Don’t assume all “unemployed” Caymanians are “job seekers”. The terms are not interchangeable. As an employer of 200+, I can tell you with confidence that the labour pool is dry. We are getting very close to full employment for anyone that really wants to work. 96% Employment in any society is about as good as it gets.

    • Treasonous Clowns says:

      Joker…Who you know doesn’t want a better life??? Let’s just be honest.

      We all tired of shooting up and feeling the blade! We do it for the money just like you!

      Create equal opportunities for cash, not for jobs! We don’t expect you to shovel s**t like us – but at least pay a good little thing and STOP ACTING BROKE IN YOUR BENZ and BIMMA while you pass poor people “boss”.

      Boss: is one who make sure that everyone eats, everyone.

      • Anonymous says:

        He didn’t say there was anyone that did not want a better life , just that there are those willing to work for it and those not .

        • Diogenes says:

          And Treasonous Clown wants opportunities for cash, not jobs. Says it all really.

          • Anonymous says:

            It does. It says that the problem is more than ‘just’ jobs. The problem is access to employment that pays a living wage, i.e., that pays you what you ‘need’, which is relative to your expenses (over the course off your life, minus whatever national social safety nets are in place). And of course that access is not just a function of their being jobs, but the person being skilled (technically, socially, materially, etc.) to do the job.

            Wow, that sounds complicated. No wonder some people simplify it to ‘opportunity for cash’.

      • Anonymous says:

        With that attitude let’s hope nobody ever has to call you boss. Maybe you should try Cuba, the worker’s paradise.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The increase in the first place was mostly TEMPORARY ditch digging jobs. Too bad Alden but the lies of your stats starting to show before election.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it really Alden’s fault you don’t have the job you want? You trying to work for his Ministry or what? If you were unemployed in the USA do you really think blaming Donald Trump for your situation would put food on your table?Take responsibility for your own situation. What you are today is the result of past decisions you made for yourself. Nothing to do with Alden or anyone else.

      • Anonymous says:

        If I was an unemployed experienced American manager and Donald Trump had established a policy of giving out work visas to whomever wanted them as “they create lower level jobs for Americans’ I would complain about Donald Trump. Hopefully he wouldn’t be as oblivious to the damage as Alden. This has been the worst administration for unemployed educated Caymanians and the damage has a very long tail.

  18. Anonymous says:

    And once the drunks, junkies, criminals and illiterate are taken out of the numbers?

    • WOW says:

      Spoken like a true PPM Supporter! Equating illiterate people to junkies is just how Alden, Marco and Wayne look at most of their constituents. These guys are here to serve the merchants, not us poor folk who can barely survive on the pittance of a salary we receive. We are treated like beggars in our own home! Thanks PPM, Now THAT IS PROGRESSIVE!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the unwed mothers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unwed due to divorce and a loser husband/father or unwed because they never married in the first place or unwed because they are deceased?

        You can’t paint everyone with the same brush.

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