Unemployment inthe bahamas

UNEMPLOYMENT in the Bahamas is down by one per cent, according to government statistics. The Department of Statistics released the results of its Labour Force and Household Income Survey yesterday, conducted in May, which revealed a slight decrease in the number of unemployed persons, a decline of less than 1 per cent in the unemployment rate which now stands at 13. 7 per cent. However, the report explained the two major factors contributing to the decline in the unemployment rate were persons withdrawing from the labour force, becoming discouraged with the current economy but not meeting the unemployment criteria, and an increase of persons engaging in informal activities. The 2011 Labour Force study revealed that many unemployed Bahamians have engaged in informal activities such as selling phone cards on the streets and selling clothing, jewellery and other items from their cars and homes as a means of employment. As a result the informal sector has grown by 32 per cent adding approximately 4, 410 persons to the work force. The informal sector is described as that part of an economy that is not taxed nor monitored by any form of government. According to the Labour report it is not uncommon for there to be growth in the informal sector during difficult economic times. It said: ” This state of affairs is not unique to The Bahamas and happens worldwide, particularly in developing countries – a downturn in the economy gives rise to an increase in employment in the informal sector.” The report noted that for the first time in New Providence the number of women in the labour force was higher than males, accounting for 51 per cent of the total. There were also more employed women than there were men. This, however, was not the case in Grand Bahama where the traditional pattern prevailed; men outnumbered women in both the labour force and the employed labour force. The increase of the employed labour force ” was largely due to women whose numbers increased by 5. 6 per cent compared to the 2. 4 per cent experienced by men,” said the report. Data also indicated that employment in the informal sector was also more accessible for women as their numbers increased by 65 per cent compared to a much lower increase, 20 per cent, experienced by men. The informal sector tended to be geared toward the retail industry, a subgroup of the Wholesale and Retail industry, according to the report, that grew more than any other industry. In contrast, industries such as construction, which are mostly male dominated, experienced a decline of 17. 5 per cent. Construction was also the industry with the highest unemployment rate said the survey. These results will be available immediately on the Department of Statistics website at statistics. bahamas. gov. bs and the final report will be completed and disseminated by mid-September. The Bahamas has gone from having the third-lowest to second highest unemployment rate (around 18 per cent) among a sample group of Caribbean nations over a four-year period, a study presented at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference has revealed. A paper presented by authors Auguste Kouame and Maria Ivanova Reyes, entitled The Caribbean region beyond the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, showed that only St Lucia suffered a sharper – and greater – increase in unemployment levels than the Bahamas during the period 2008-2011. The study, unveiled late last month at a Caribbean conference, showed that while the Bahamas had an unemployment rate of around 8 per cent in 2008, this almost doubled in percentage point terms to between 15-16 per cent in 2009. It estimated, though, that the unemployment rate in the Bahamas peaked last year, hitting between 18-19 per cent, with a decline for this year to a projected 16-17 per cent – but still slightly higher than 2009 levels. These findings are somewhat consistent with government pronouncements that unemployment in the Bahamas has peaked, as evidenced by unemployment benefits claimant data, but there is nothing to show a dramatic rebound. Still, the start of the $2. 6 billion Baha Mar project, together with the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) privatisation and other economic developments, seems likely to turn the Bahamian economy around more swiftly than other Caribbean nations. The Kouame/Reyes study, though, showed through its unemployment data just how vulnerable the Bahamas is to external shocks that impact its major industries. In 2008, only Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados (marginally) had a lower unemployment rate than the Bahamas’ 8 per cent. Come 2009, and the Bahamas was tied equal-third for unemployment with Suriname, with only Belize and St Lucia having higher rates. The Bahamas took sole possession of third place in 2010, and is projected to jump to second place in 2011 as Belize’s unemployment falls.. ” As output in the Caribbean has slowed down, unemployment is estimated to have risen with no signs of recovery in 2010, while some countries will still see increases in unemployment during 2011,” the study warned. ” With the global slowdown, unemployment rates are likely to increase as the decrease in external demand affects the production industries and therefore employment generation.” Noting that the Bahamas had experienced ” a very slow increase in tourist arrivals” from the 2009 low, when they led the Caribbean with a more than 15 per cent decline, the study warned that English-speaking economies such as this nation would ” lag significantly” behind the rest of Latin America and this region when it came to recovery. With Baha Mar and other developments in the Bahamas’ favour, this remains to be seen, but the study said: ” Average growth after the crisis will likely be lower for the English-speaking countries during the next five years than it was just before the crisis. ” While the rest of the Caribbean, South America and Central America will likely recover during the medium-term to a similar growth path as that experienced on average before the crisis, the English-speaking Caribbean countries will remain lagging significantly behind its dynamic growth of approximately 5 per cent per yea during 2003-2007, with an estimated annual growth rate of 2. 5 per cent per year during 2011-2015. ” With this, the crisis seems to have halved the medium-term growth prospects of the English-speaking Caribbean countries.” The Bahamas is projected to be in line with that 2. 5 per cent growth estimate for the next several years, notwithstanding Baha Mar. The study revealed that the Bahamas’ economic growth rate during the past decade has lagged even that, this nation’s GDP growing at a 1. 3 per cent average between 2001-2005, and just 1. 1 per cent between 2006-2008. This was well below the 5. 1 per cent annual GDP growth rate that the Bahamas achievsed between 1996-2000, when the US economy was booming and it enjoyed the fruits of Kerzner International’s first two Atlantis phases and other assorted hotel industry investments. In fact, the Bahamas’ economic growth rate this decade has la Department of Statistics releases Labour Force Survey The Department of Statistics has released the results of its Labour Force and Household Income Survey, which was conducted in November of last year. Source: Date: Updated: TheBahamasInvestor. com February 8, 2012 February 8, 2012 The Department of Statistics of The Bahamas has released the results of its Labour Force and Household Income Survey, which was conducted in November of last year. The survey provides information on the labour force as it existed during the reference period of October 24-30, 2011. The results of the survey indicate that since the last survey conducted in May of 2011, there was a slight increase, less than one percent, in the size of the labour force, which now numbers 190, 445 persons . The number of women declined by 1. 4 per cent, while their counterpart increased by 1. 8 per cent, accounting for the overall minimal increase. This is reflected in the overall participation rate, which remained basically the same. The participation rate for men increased marginally, 0. 6 percentage points, while that of women fell by 1. 2 percentage points. In New Providence the number of persons in both the labour force and the employed labour force was almost equally distributed among the sexes. In Grand Bahama however, the traditional pattern prevailed; men outnumbered women in both the labour force and the employed labour force and were fewer in numbers among the unemployed. The data shows that there was a noticeable decrease in the number of employed persons and an increase in the number of unemployed persons resulting in the unemployment rate increasing by 2. 2 percentage points and thereby pushing the country’s unemployment rate to 15. 9 per cent. From this year, the survey will be taken twice a year, in May and November. Download/view the results of the survey here. TABLE ii HE LABOUR FORCE AND ITS COMPONENTS: 2011 TABLE I TOTAL EMPLOYED UNEMPLOYED LABOUR SEX AND ISLAND LABOUR LABOUR LABOUR FORCE UNEMPLOYMENT FORCE FORCE FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE RATE ALL BAHAMAS TOTAL 190, 075 164, 120 25, 955 72. 3% 13. 7% WOMEN 94, 865 81, 850 13, 015 69. 1% 13. 7% MEN 95, 210 82, 270 12, 940 76. 1% 13. 6% NEW PROVIDENCE TOTAL 134, 910 117, 105 17, 805 73. 5% 13. 2% WOMEN 68, 860 59, 975 8, 885 70. 7% 12. 9% MEN 66, 050 57, 130 8, 920 76. 7% 13. 5% GRAND BAHAMA TOTAL 27, 660 23, 410 4, 250 68. 4% 15. 4% WOMEN 13, 615 11, 135 2, 480 65. 0% 18. 2% MEN 14, 045 12, 275 1, 770 72. 3% 12. 6 THE LABOUR FORCE AND ITS COMPONENTS: 2008 TOTAL EMPLOYED UNEMPLOYED LABOUR SEX AND ISLAND LABOUR LABOUR LABOUR FORCE UNEMPLOYMENT FORCE FORCE FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE RATE ALL BAHAMAS TOTAL 191, 595 174, 920 16, 675 76. 3% 8. 7% WOMEN 93, 160 84, 085 9, 075 70. 8% 9. 7% MEN 98, 435 90, 835 7, 600 83. 0% 7. 7% NEW PROVIDENCE TOTAL 135, 735 123, 960 11, 775 77. 3% 8. 7% WOMEN 67, 995 61, 475 6, 520 72. 6% 9. 6% MEN 67, 740 62, 485 5, 255 83. 5% 7. 8% GRAND BAHAMA TOTAL 29, 820 27, 125 2, 695 76. 9% 9. 0% WOMEN 14, 325 12, 775 1, 550 72. 0% 10. 8% MEN 15, 495 14, 350 1, 145 83. 0% 7. 4% Question: How Is Unemployment Defined? Answer: Unemployment is defined as by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work. Also, people who were temporarily laid off and are waiting to be called back to that job are counted as unemployed.