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International business the largest employer - report

Shutting up shop: the economic climate had hit retailers hard (Photograph supplied)

International business has become the island’s largest employer, according to the latest job statistics.

Civil Servants make up the second largest job category following an increase in employment in the sector in each of the past three years.

But jobs in the retail sector have taken a hit, with employment numbers falling sharply last year.

The figures, released by the Government’s Department of Statistics, show that 4,240 people worked in International Business in 2020, up from 4,020 in 2019. The industry also pays some of the biggest salaries, with a median gross annual income of $144,578.

Public administration provided 4,064 jobs in 2020, with an average salary of $76,535. Numbers went into steady decline from 2013 and stood at 3,715 by 2017, but they have increased every year since then.

Retail is now only the third biggest employer, having consistently held second spot in recent years. The sector shed 260 jobs in 2019, bringing the number of people employed in the industry to 3,972 last year. Salaries averaged $49,551.

But tourism related jobs suffered the biggest losses. Previously the island’s biggest employer, the accommodation and food services industries provided only 3,591 jobs in 2020 – a drop of 1,100 on 2019.

The sector is also one of the lowest paid on the island, with a median annual salary of $38,905.

In a statement on Monday, Wayne Furbert, the minister for the Cabinet Office, said that the coronavirus pandemic had had a significant impact on the economy last year.

Mr Furbert said: “As we know, last year was particularly difficult, where many businesses, employers and employees were affected by the challenges in our economy and labour market due to the pandemic.

“So it’s important to understand and appreciate the context and background as we review and assess these statistics.”

The summary noted that, of the 1,951 employees who lost jobs in 2020, more than 40 per cent were in the 25-39 age group. More Black people – 902 – lost their jobs than any other race.

Incomes did increase in 2020 on the year before, with the median salary rising from $62,693 in 2019 to $65,068 last year.

However, according to a report accompanying the statistics, the increase was due to a significant drop in the total number of low-paid jobs in the service sector.

The report also highlighted a strong disparity between Black and White median salaries. White employees earned an average of $87,876 last year, while Black employees earned an average of $59,113 – a 39 per cent difference.

The statistics also revealed a widening gap in earning power between the sexes.

Last year women earned on average $68,294, compared with an average of $61,946 for men.

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Published October 28, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated October 28, 2021 at 7:37 am)

International business the largest employer - report

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