Local unemployment passed 8% in late 2020

| 07/04/2021 | 62 Comments

(CNS): The Economics and Statistics Office’s latest Labour Force Survey outlines the significant impact the COVID-19 health crisis had on unemployment last year, documenting a drop in the workforce from almost 50,000 people in the autumn of 2019 to just under 44,000 last October. Although they are six months old, the statistics provide the first official picture of the state of employment in the Cayman Islands since the borders were closed due to the pandemic, and reflect an unemployment rate among Caymanians of 8.3%. The figures show that at least 1,759 locals were without work at the time of the survey.

The Fall Survey, which was published just before the Easter holiday, also shows that Cayman’s population, which had reached almost 70,000 by the end of 2019, dropped back to just under 65,000 by the last quarter of 2020. The report shows that the Caymanian population rose by 1.2% to 37,815. Estimates revealed that the number of people employed declined by 12.1% (5,750 people) compared to fall 2019, and while the loss of jobs was largely related to positions held by expats, 578 Caymanians were added to the unemployment tally.

The impact on the pandemic was also reflected in the increase in the under-employment rate to 3.6%, with 1,494 people who are counted in the employment figures being classified as under-employed, most of whom (974) are Caymanian.

Women were much more impacted by the decline in jobs, with the overall unemployment rate among local and non-Caymanian women running at 6.2% compared to the rate for all men of 4.2%.

Among those with a job, low pay continues to plague the Cayman Islands, especially given the inflation rate over recent years, with almost 4,000 workers living on less than CI$1,200 per month. More than one third of the work force (14,211 people) in October 2020 were earning less than CI$2,400 per month, and over 55% of those in jobs were taking home a monthly salary of less than CI$3,600.

See the full Labour Force Survey here

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    These Cayman Islands are still the best place in the world, facts are facts. Just look at how many people wants to come here and work and live here. And if they lucky to get here to work, they dont ever want to leave, facts again. Some will tell the truth, others wont,but they all want to stay here.

  2. ECON 1 says:

    Of course unemployment is going to show an increase because the tourism industry has basically been eliminated.

    Also, the official numbers showed just a 1% rise in inflation but I doubt the accuracy of that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe wait until you take ECON 2 and your comments will be insightful and have value.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe offer something more than empty criticism if you want your comments to be insightful. You can start by making an argument.

    • Anonymous says:

      Inflation in Cayman has always been driven largely by housing costs, which went down during COVID as a lot of SMB foreign condo owners put their places on monthly rentals to cover strata fees. Consumer goods prices went up much more than 1% but were offset by housing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The unemployment myth continues.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Stop voting in herds like sheep, and choose wisely. Unemployment and excessive work permits are the legacy of both the PPM and the UDP, so if our parents and grandparents want to vote them in, it must be our mission to VOTE THEM OUT.

    • Anonymous says:

      You blame PPM for being unemployed..?
      Employed people have a few things in common…
      Time keeping
      Showing up for work
      Not taking sick days every week
      Being respectful
      Being reliable
      Not spending all day on their cell phone….
      Get the picture,,.?
      Caymanians are also expected to obey those rules to be employed.

  5. Environment First Cayman says:

    Another 4 years of Alden & Joey and their money smurfs taking care of their rich sponsors. unemployed Caymanians don’t mean diddley Squat!

  6. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine told me that a friend of his (that works at immigration/labour board) said that work permit applications are at an all time high. Like, has not seen it this high ever before.

    CNS: Is this something that I could do as a FOI request? On pending GOL applications?

    CNS: You can FOI for documents, not random info. So ask the WORC FOI manager for any document indicating the number of work permit applications pending. If they have that they should send it to you. They cannot give you any document with personal data.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anything will look like a lot if the powers that do the approving move at a snail pace. Civil service is great at acting like they are swamped while really doing nothing. Gotta give it to them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well from the sounds of it, they are indeed upholding approvals of PR and status (along with work permits) in order for it to not reflect on them before the election.

        Fair enough that a lot of those on permits have left since last year but, from rumblings within the community, I think some people thought many of those jobs would go to Caymanians. However, and this is something Caymanians don’t seem to understand, unless a Caymanian is qualified to do that job, it cannot be filled locally.
        Then again, if you are an unemployed Caymanian, NOW is the time to update your CV and hit the pavement!!

        • Anonymous says:

          As they should with PR, and status after 15 years. If they put in time and money the law is clear. Work permits will continue to go to expats until the education and work ethic catches up to the rest of the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS thank you for the info. And sorry for another question but can I ask them the number that have been submitted over the last 6 months? Like, what would be reasonable in order to get a response. I don’ want to ‘take the pi$$ with an unreasonable request they will drag their feet on.
      Then, once I get it.. what do I do with it? Lol Just get mad on my own? Talk about it at Happy Hour? Does anyone care? No, because there is nothing we can do about it…
      I’m doing it anyway.

      CNS: The more simple and precise the request, the easier it will be to get an answer. Also, if you indicate that you are willing to get the answer that is the most straight forward for them to prepare, the FOI manager (who has another job and is probably busy) is more likely to accommodate you. Keep in mind that you are asking for a document, not information per se. You can send it to us if you get an answer.

  7. Anonymous says:

    2nd pension withdrawl!

  8. Anonymous says:

    2nd pension fund withdrawal is needed if no government stimulus cheques

    • Anonymous says:

      Here me out…

      Instead of another pension dip, I believe the Government is in a position to offer a stimulus payment to Caymanians only. I say Caymanians only as majority of expat dollars are sent home. I propose a payment of CI$2,500.00 every 6 months for at least the next year. Surely with our local population this is doable.

      • Anonymous says:

        They seem to have enough money NOT to take an austerity pay cut and even gave themselves a losers bonus of 3 months when the get the boot. Lots in the coffers.

      • Anonymous says:

        As long as you wait till I’m Caymanian. Because, hear me out, I’ve put into this country a lot over the past 14 years. Why should those of us who live here and pay astronomical fees to do so all while still trying to stay afloat after the corona crisis be left out?

        • Anonymous says:

          anyone else going wtf? This is gratefulness we get for giving somemone the honor to stay in our country!

          • BeaumontZodecloun says:

            Imagine being an expat who stayed here, stayed with us, during the curfew. Likely they were some of the “essential” that were delivering our food, or other necessary tasks. Point is, if a person gives that much of their life to Cayman, eventually they should earn the right to be one of us legally.

      • Anonymous says:

        1.10 good idea except 50% of “Caymanians” are from Jamaica so funds will be sent there not spent here.

        • BeaumontZodecloun says:

          There are no “Caymanians”. There are only Caymanians.

          Nowhere else in the world does a person go through the process of becoming a citizen, and then not be considered a citizen of that country.

          You don’t go to the U.S., study, take the test and pass and become a “U.S. status holder.” Nope. You become a U.S. citizen, with all the rights afforded every other citizen, EXCEPT for the right to run for President, because you won’t be ‘natural born’.

          We can treasure naturally born Caymanians for their history and culture, but understand that in the eyes of the laws, Status Holders are Caymanian. So it should be.

  9. Sauce for the goose... says:

    Some of the incumbents need a dose of their own medicine. Let us leave their @$$ unemployed come 14th April, so they know how it feels for the 8% !

  10. Anonymous says:

    The low paid and unemployed certainly doesn’t include the Premiers political advisor who apparently earns in a month what some on the island earn in a year. Guess it’s a bit hard to empathize with the poor or devise policies for them when your monthly “hardship allowance” exceed the low paids monthly earnings.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:34 pm, you are 100 % right, Alden should be ashamed 0f himself to pay some one as his chief advisor 12,000 plus per month, is he a lawyer, professor or what, that Alden needs to pay him so much ? To advise him., shame,shame , wasting tax payers money

  11. Anonymous says:

    I mean, 6% is really 2% of the willing to work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear that son? Well that there is the rant of the entitled permit holder. You can find them sitting cross legged sipping wine in Caymana Bay…both will have smug self important looks on their faces however the males will be the ones with cargo shorts and long sleeve dress shirts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah yes, another person who thinks so highly of themselves that any company should promote them to manager while only having zero experience

  12. Anonymous says:

    Politicians are now playing Russian Roulette with the borders. Instead of establishing a solid plan to open the borders (to the vaccinated) so that these poor unemployed can generate their own income and put food on the table, the politicians are promising to double the welfare payments if re-elected. Keep them down and control how they vote. In the meanwhile, major cruise lines are gearing to begin voyages of fully vaccinated travelers. Cayman will be left behind as the world moves past the pandemic.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So glad when Alden and the piglets are gone.

    • Gray Matter says:

      Best If you put fresh batteries in your crystal ball. Let’s see who has the last laugh.

    • Anonymous says:

      And let Johan and the new piglets in!

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d rather them than the ppm disaster we’ve been enduring. They know they are done because they are scrambling with vote buying by last minute rejuvenation projects and lying about the cruise dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      @4.31pm Why? Some of the new guys promised you to open early?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Imagine having 1200 and 3600 in the same stats. 1200 would struggle in the UK. 3600 would have you living the high life for the most part.

    This island needs to sort this ridiculous disparity out and quick. It’s disgusting that we have anyone other than part time workers earning 1200 a month.

    But hey, plenty of expat bar staff etc working “minimum wage jobs” whilst absolutely raking it in.

  15. Anonymous says:

    We are going to end up 2008 post recession levels – where one of 10 Caymanians was without work.

    Those who have money and are living comfortable in ivory towers are not paying heed to what is happening. Only when it touches them through crime (like the murder levels of 2009-2012, increased spate of robberies and burglaries), will they start to pay attention.

    Go get vaccinated so we can open our borders safely. What a blessing it is to have this vaccination access when so many other countries do not. Its is that simple. Stop being selfish and waiting for a reason, like when you decide to travel (because you still have the privilege of having deep enough pockets to pay for a trip).

    • Anonymous says:

      Crime is already out of control, we are making plans to leave this year. Cayman is a bit of a shithole

      • Anonymous says:

        I am curious – where are you moving to?

        • Anonymous says:

          @ 9:16am Back to the shithole they ran here from lmfao.

          • Anonymous says:

            If immigrants here are all running from the shitholes they came from, what do all of the Caymanians living in the US and UK say about Cayman? Since people emigrate from and immigrate to countries all over the world for various reason, using your logic, the whole world is a shithole, right? Though, I must say, given what we’ve learned about the nature of people over the past year, you might be on to something.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sure everyone on here would pitch in for your flight if you leave tomorrow.

      • Anonymous says:

        What an outlandish statement that is. It’s like you live in an alternate universe. Out of control? seriously?

        When a couple of shops get burgled and that makes front page news, you should take it as a good sign.

        Any normal news around the world is muggings, murder, people being beaten unconscious for their mobile phone and on and on.

        But yea, it’s out of control here.

  16. Anonymous says:

    At the time I am reading this, 67% find the report boring. I wonder how many of that 67% are under or unemployed. It is nice to ignore a pain, when we are not hurting, eh?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Getting worse by day too while the borders stay closed.

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