Local unemployment rises in spring survey

| 03/10/2017 | 36 Comments

(CNS): There was mixed news on employment rates in Cayman with the release of the Labour Force Survey Report for March 2017: the number of unemployed Caymanians was higher than the same period in 2016 but a drop when compared to the October 2016 report. The overall unemployment rate, which includes permanent residents with the right to work, permit holders and Caymanians, stands at 4.1% but 6.2% for locals alone.

While the workforce has grown to 41,764 people in jobs, including 431 more Caymanians working, the percentage of locals still trying to get work remains stubbornly high, given the number of foreign nationals on permits.

From a current population of more than 63,000 people, the total labour force, which includes everyone who is working or wants to work, stands at 43,545, which is up by 1,290 from the same period in 2016, with 95.9 % in jobs. Employment among Caymanians grew by 2.4% to 1,277 who want to work but were out of a job — a number that has remained relatively consistent over the last few years.

Another worrying trend for government was the under-employment rate, which increased from 1.8% of working people saying they were underemployed to 4.1%. This issue reflects an increase in people working in jobs which are either well below their skill level or people not being given the chance to work the hours they want. More than 40% of all workers, including non-Caymanians, earn less than $2,400 per month

An interesting statistic for government to consider is where locals are working. Despite the agreement among all politicians and public perception that key to resolving local unemployment is support for small and micro businesses with five workers or less, those businesses actually employ the highest proportion of non-Caymanians, while big businesses with a staff count of 50 or more employ the most locals.

Long-term unemployment remains relatively low for locals, with over 92% of Caymanians said they had had a job before and only 2% said they had been unemployed for more than a year.

The full report on the current labour numbers is available here.

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (36)

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  1. Cayman News says:

    The comment that appeared in regards to this article purporting to be written by Lance Jefferson was not written by him and has been removed. Cayman News Service apologises for any inconvenience or embarrassment this may have caused Mr Jefferson.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    File local unemployment along with Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and Bigfoot. Everyone who is unemployed in Cayman is unemployed by choice.




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  3. Observer says:

    Well done PPM, let’s employ foreign workers and starve locals. Bravo!!!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Why does people on a work permit even figure into unemployment statistics in the Cayman Islands? If you are on a work permit and you have no job I thought the law required you to leave, especially if you have to be off Island in order to apply for a work permit.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Expat families and only one working spouse? First consider options, then type.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Dependents of people on a work permit are not unemployed Cayman residents, technically they are tourists and as such should not be included in these statistics.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Wha ya gotta say now Premier & Minister of Human Resources and Immigration?!?! What is the plan to improve this and will we see any action or will this just simply be words written in your glossy PPM manifesto?! Mr. Premier…. as leader you have to do something about this that will require you to make many tough decisions and upset all those businesses that continue to easily get work permits and won’t hire Caymanians! But oh well… its time to put Caymanians first because we are sick and tired of being left out in our own country.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey Alden. If unemployment was that high in the high season, imagine what it is now with hundreds of kids just having graduated over the summer.




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  7. Jotnar says:

    When the ESO produce statistics based on actual data rather than a survey extrapolated to a hypothetical number, where the determination of whether people are employed or not, whether they want to work or not, whether they are under employed or not, is based on the unverified assertions of people on the doorstep, I will start believing this stuff. For all we know the true unemployment rate could be twice that, or it could be far less. If you want to measure this stuff you should require all employers to submit a return, and only count the unemployed as those registered with the NWDA. The only hard data in this are the work permit numbers.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Put the unemployed to work taking employment surveys, problem solved.




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      • Anonymous says:

        On TV a local businessman was complaining he was losing employees because of their pension fears. The Jamaican consul was also complaining.
        These people have been doing jobs that Caymanians could fill, so now is the time to step up and employ Caymanians.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Ah yes, that old communist trick, lets employ everyone even if they cannot do the job. It makes the numbers look good. That’s fine in a communist state, in the real world you need people able and willing to do the job, otherwise the employer may go bankrupt…you guys just think that a vacancy automatically should go to a Caymanian. It should if they have the skills and desire to work hard, but when we have a job now, no Caymanians apply!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      ESO statistical gathering and analysis is done according to international standards. It is not sub-par and no one can prove anything other that they are working to the standards they should be. Therefore our employment stats are collected and presented the same way that other first world countries collect and present theirs.




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  8. Messenjah says:

    What happened to the hog wash that was being spread about when work permits increase there is a decrease in unemployment for Caymanians?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Which bit of report that an extra 431 Caymanians are employed is difficult for you to understand or does your bigotry affect your ability to read?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Your ignorance ignores that an extra 500 expatriates became Caymanian, and that is how an extra 431 Caymanians obtained employment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I guess it depends on how you read the report, it says that 431 more Caymanians are employed than they were last year, however more people than that need or want a job. So the reality is more work permits does increase Caymanian employment, just not fast enough to absorb all those entering the workforce.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    the myth continues with false numbers doctored for effect. I placed an ad for Caymanians and one PR holder showed up that could not speak anything but broken english




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  10. Anonymous says:

    the unemployment myth continues…..
    these people do not want to work. end of story.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    More truth to reveal….stats are obviously quite relevant though. Great job!




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  12. Anonymous says:

    “[T]he percentage of locals still trying to get work remains stubbornly high, given the number of foreign nationals on permits.” What zero sum game nonsense. Once the convicts, drunks and junkies are reduced from the 1,277, ie the voluntarily unemployable, those left can all find jobs easily it is just they don’t want the many many jobs that are available.




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    • Ron the Observer says:

      I take it that you are not well acquainted with any of the skilled unemployed Caymanians out there looking for work that in fact make up a shocking sum of that total figure. In any group there will be outliers, but they surely aren’t the majority.

      Where there are fitting jobs, many of these skilled and driven locals don’t even receive a callback once the employer sees they’ve been out of work for a while…almost like it’s taboo to take a chance on a Caymanian.

      And again I say outliers will always be there so don’t judge the group by a few bad eggs. Unemployment is indeed a stubborn problem amongst Caymanians.




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      • Anonymous says:

        These alleged skilled, sober, criminal record free Caymanians can easily take a job and then apply for the jobs for which they claim, stress on claim, to be qualified. Just sitting on their backsides moaning sends a message about what sort of employee they would be.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The outliers are “the skilled unemployed Caymanians out there looking for work”. So much so that they are likely to be non-existent.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Alden isn’t worried…lots of PR and work permit fees




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