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More than 1,900 jobs lost last year as Covid hit the economy

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Focus on jobs: the Government is working to get projects such as the construction of new hotels underway (File photograph)

More than 1,900 jobs were lost last year as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the economy, the Minister for the Cabinet Office revealed yesterday.

Wayne Furbert said that total jobs filled declined by 1,951 jobs or 5.7 per cent from 34,378 jobs in 2019 to 32,427 in 2020 – the lowest level recorded since 1985.

He added the worst-hit areas were the hotel and food services sectors.

But Mr Furbert added the signs were that the job loss trend had not continued into this year.

He said he was hopeful there were better days ahead.

Mr Furbert added: “Overall, based on the economic stimulus plan and the other programmes we are working on, I am sure that over the next six or twelve months we are going to see some significant job increases.

“There are challenges but overall I think we are getting there. We are working around the clock to make things happen.”

He was speaking as he discussed the latest edition of the Bermuda Job Market Employment Briefs, which covered 2019 to 2020.

Mr Furbert said that males and females had registered 1,076 and 875 fewer filled jobs respectively.

Bermudians and other non-Bermudians recorded job losses of 1,091 and 666 respectively.

He added: “Filled jobs within accommodation and the food service industry contracted 23.4 per cent, down 1,100 to 3,591.

“Filled jobs among service workers and shop and market sales workers declined by 15.9 per cent from 7,427 jobs to 6,244.”

Mr Furbert said that employment levels were severely affected by the pandemic.

The 2021 edition of the Bermuda Job Market Employment Briefs is based on statistics collected from the 2020 Employment Survey, which was carried out the week of August 30 to September 5 last year.

The annual Employment Survey is a census of all businesses on the island.

The snap shot was taken after about 700 job losses at the Fairmont Southampton hotel last year.

Mr Furbert said: “The 2020 employment total includes 730 jobs whose holders were made redundant during the reference week.

“While the main findings of this report focused on employment changes between 2019 and 2020 the report also shows employment changes between 2016 and 2019.

“Prior to the pandemic, Bermuda was experiencing encouraging job growth with employment on an upward trajectory from 33,481 filled jobs in 2016 to 34,378 in 2019 an increase of nearly 900 jobs.”

Jobs statistics at a glance

Total filled jobs decreased 5.7 per cent (down 1,951) to 32,427.

Filled jobs for males decreased 6.1 per cent (down 1,076) to 16,451.

Filled jobs for females decreased 5.2 per cent (down 875) to 15,976.

Filled jobs for the 25 to 39 age group declined 8.0 per cent (down 832) to 9,535.

Filled jobs by Bermudians fell 4.6 per cent (down 1,091) to 22,750.

Filled jobs by other non-Bermudians declined 8.4 per cent (down 666) to 7,228.

Filled jobs by Blacks decreased 5 per cent (down 902) to 17,174.

Filled jobs within accommodations and food service activities contracted 23.4 per cent (down 1,100) to 3,591.

Filled jobs among service workers and shop and market sales workers declined by 15.9 per cent (down 1,183) to 6,244.

The median gross annual income for all job holders increased by 3.8 per cent (up $2,375) to $65,068.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour, added the economic downturn had affected young workers and service workers “disproportionately”.

He said that the Government was continued to provide a safety net through the Financial Assistance programme and the Supplementary Unemployment Benefit programme.

Mr Hayward highlighted the work done by the Department of Workforce Development since September 30, a year after the launch of the Government’s national re-employment strategy.

More than 750 people took part in training programmes including webinars, internships and apprenticeships.

Mr Hayward added about 80 people got part or full-time employment as a result.

He added that 757 unemployed Bermudians had been given employment opportunities through the DWD’s Bermuda Job Board.

Mr Hayward said: “The strategy of training, reskilling, and utilising the transferable skills of unemployed Bermudians has remained our core focus.

“It will better equip the pool of unemployed persons to take advantage of opportunities in specific restricted and closed categories in the job market.

“These industry-driven initiatives will continue to focus on connecting training with employment opportunities in high demand occupations required now and into the future.”

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Published October 26, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated October 26, 2021 at 8:00 am)

More than 1,900 jobs lost last year as Covid hit the economy

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