Underemployment drops 10 per cent

  • Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office (File photograph)

    Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office (File photograph)

Job satisfaction among the working population appears to have increased over the past year, the Minister for the Cabinet Office said yesterday

Wayne Furbert revealed that underemployment dropped by more than 10 per cent between May 2018 and May 2019, which had contributed to the job satisfaction rates.

Mr Furbert said: “I am very encouraged by several of the findings, which I believe speak to this government’s commitment to invest in our people, encourage small business development and grow our economy.

“For example, the number of persons who were underemployed in May 2019 decreased by 10.6 per cent when compared to May 2018, totalling 5,673 persons, or 16 per cent of the working population.

“A sharp decline in underemployment signals an increased level of job satisfaction among the working population.

“Measures of underemployment include job holder dissatisfaction with working conditions, amount or scheduling of time worked, concerns with duration of employment, whether temporary or seasonal work, underutilisation of work skills and desire for higher pay.”

Mr Furbert added that the latest Labour Force Survey results showed that median annual incomes for younger workers increased by almost 18 per cent over the period.

Overall unemployment was unchanged at 5.2 per cent, but the rate increased “fractionally” for Bermudians.

The LFS report from the Department of Statistics, published on the Government’s website, explained that the International Labour Organisation defined underemployment as “the underutilisation of the productive capacity of the employed population”.

It added: “The underemployed population is a subcategory of the employed population and is identified by comparing their current employment situation with an ‘alternative’ employment situation that they are willing and available to carry out.”

Almost 3,800 black people were said to be underemployed, compared to 958 white people.

Mr Furbert said that median annual income from the main jobs of people in the 16 to 24 age group rose by 17.8 per cent from $23,455 in May 2018 to “a whopping” $27,631 a year later.

He said that people of “mixed and other racial backgrounds” saw their median incomes increase from $56,028 to $62,711, or 11.9 per cent, over the 12 months.

Mr Furbert added that non-Bermudians marked an 8.8 per cent increase in their median incomes, from $67,401 to $73,352.

He explained: “The median is based on annual income before deductions.

“Income data relates to the working population including full and part-time workers, regardless of the number of hours and months worked.

“The term labour force refers to those persons of working age who were 16 years or older during the survey reference week and were either gainfully employed or available and were looking for work.”

Women’s median gross annual income dipped $1,740 from $63,297 to $61,557 in the twelve months from May last year.

However, the figures showed men enjoyed an increase of about $3,000, from $63,155 to $66,246.

The survey results indicated that the median gross annual income for black people went up by $956 from $57,572 in May 2018 to $58,528 a year later.

White people earned an $81,753 median gross income in May last year, which dropped by $2,825 to $78,928 twelve months later.

Figures for November 2018 showed that not all trends were consistent over the year.

Mr Furbert said the island’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.2 per cent from May 2018 to last May[2019].

The LFS report showed that “the unemployment rate for Bermudians increased fractionally from 5.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent”.

It added: “The unemployment rate for persons 16 to 24 years rose from 18.4 per cent to 23.8 per cent.”

Mr Furbert said: “The greatest gains in employment occurred among high school certificate holders, which grew by 12.6 per cent from 10,627 to 11,969.

“Degree holders also made significant strides in employment level as their numbers increased by 9 per cent during this period.

“Other noteworthy gains in employment were recorded by persons aged 25 to 34 years, and 65 years and older, which increased year over year by 9.3 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively.”

The LFS report explained that the survey reference week was May 13 to 19, 2019, and that 1,490 households, 99 per cent of its 1,500 sample target, completed the survey by the end of a six-week data collection period last summer.

It said that the sample represented about 5 per cent of the 28,192 households registered in the 2016 Census.

Aggregate results were expected to have a “confidence level” of 95 per cent with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent.

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Published Dec 20, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 20, 2019 at 12:04 am)

Underemployment drops 10 per cent

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