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Unemployment falls in Labour Force Survey

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

Unemployment among people under the age of 25 plummeted in the second half of last year, figures revealed yesterday.

The Labour Force Survey Report from the Department of Statistics showed the jobless rate for 16 to 24-year-olds fell from 18.4 per cent to 7.8 per cent between May and November 2018.

The drop was part of a wider fall in unemployment, which decreased from 5.2 per cent to 4.5 per cent. Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, released the November 2018 report yesterday. The survey also showed that the number of unemployed Bermudians fell from 1,532 to 1,345, 5.5 per cent to 4.8 per cent, over the same period.

Unemployment among non-Bermudians, including spouses of Bermudians and permanent resident’s certificate holders, dropped from 384 to 297 — 4.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent. The figures showed unemployment rates for black people fell from 7.1 per cent in May 2018 to 5.2 per cent in November.

The rate dipped from 2.8 per cent to 2.7 per cent for white people and there was an unemployment rate increase from 4.3 per cent to 4.7 per cent for “mixed/other races”.

The report said: “The primary objective of the LFS was to measure and assess the current employment and unemployment situation in Bermuda.”

It added: “The LFS is a household survey of private dwelling units with a sample of 1,500 households.

“It was determined that a sample size of 1,500 households would be adequate to give the desired level of accuracy and precision.

“The sample represents approximately 5 per cent of all 28,192 households counted in the 2016 Population and Housing Census in Bermuda.”

The report said that the sample offered aggregate results with a confidence level of 95 per cent and a 2.5 per cent margin of error either way.

It showed that the labour force, which is people who were 16 or older at the time of the survey who were either employed or looking for work, rose by 0.5 per cent from 36,541 to 36,725.

And the working population, which included people temporarily absent from their jobs, also went up from 34,625 to 35,083, an increase of 1.3 per cent.

But the report said that more than 5,200 people — 15 per cent of the working population — indicated that they were underemployed last November.

The report said that these included individuals who were employed at the time of the survey, but were willing and available to work “more adequately”, such as for increased or more convenient hours, using different skills or qualifications or for bigger pay packets.

Average working hours fell by one from 40.7 to 39.7, the study showed.

The figures revealed that the median gross annual income from a main job decreased 0.8 per cent from $63,227 to $62,695 over the period.

The survey also found that the “economically inactive population” dropped 0.6 per cent from 17,400 to 17,293. The number of retired people was said to have increased from 9,431 to 9,905 over the six months.

Mr Furbert said that the report contained selected indicators which were compared to the May 2018 Labour Force Survey Report and the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.

To view the Labour Force Survey report for November 2018, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”