July 19, 2014
Unemployment in The Bahamas dropped from 15.4 percent in November 2013 to 14.3 percent in May 2014, according to the results of the latest Labour Force Survey released yesterday.
The survey conducted in May references the period April 28 to May 4, 2014.
The labor force in May totaled 197,335 people.
Both New Providence and Grand Bahama experienced a decline in unemployment.
In the case of New Providence, the rate fell from 15.6 to 15 percent, and in Grand Bahama from 16.8 to 14.7 percent.
Discouraged workers declined by 27.8 percent nationally, from 6,765 in November 2013 to 4,880 in May 2014.
In the new survey, the number of discouraged workers fell from 3,335 to 2,920 (12.4 percent) in New Providence and dropped from 1,915 to 760 (60 percent) in Grand Bahama.
Officials at the Department of Statistics said discouraged workers on Grand Bahama decreased significantly in part because some residents found jobs on Family Islands such as Bimini.
According to the standard definition of the International Labour Organization, discouraged workers are not considered unemployed as they have stopped looking for work because they feel there are no jobs available.
According to the latest survey, at the point it was taken, 28,295 people were listed as unemployed -- 14,705 women and 13,590 men.
More women were listed as unemployed and more men were listed as employed.
The results showed that 87,395 men were listed as employed, compared to 81,645 women.
The survey also showed that 13,590 men were listed as unemployed and 14,705 women were listed as unemployed.
In an interview with The Nassau Guardian, Cypreanna Winters, the statistician responsible for the Labour Force Survey, said there are various contributing factors to the decrease in overall unemployment, particularly men finding jobs.
"We found those males to be concentrated mainly in the wholesale and retail industry and the hotel and restaurant industry," Winters said.
She added, "We don't have any scientific evidence to support the difference in the sexes, but we suspect that is where they are."
Unemployment among young people ages 15 to 24 continued to be considerably higher than any other age group, although decreasing from 32.3 percent to 28 percent, a difference of 4.3 percent.
However, it is unclear exactly how many people in that age bracket were unemployed at the time of the survey.
Officials have attributed the high rate of unemployment among young people over the years to their general lack of experience when entering a competitive labor market.
Winters attributed the decrease in youth unemployment to the government's National Training Agency (NTA) and Baha Mar's Leadership Development Institute.
"They (Baha Mar) had done an exercise, and I think they are in the process of doing one," she said.
"We are thinking that they are kind of the main contributors to the fact that the youth are more employed, and the training center."
The NTA, aimed at unskilled people between 17 and 25, has trained and assisted hundreds of graduates find jobs and placement programs.
Baha Mar's program is aimed at people aged between 16 and 24.
In the previous Labour Force Survey, conducted from October 28 to November 3, 2013 and released in February 2014, the department found that unemployment had decreased by less than one percent, from 16.2 percent to 15.4 percent.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said recently that the government created more than the 10,000 jobs he promised during the 2012 general election campaign.
Davis, the minister of works and urban development, said his ministry alone has created that many jobs since his party took office.
According to the latest survey, 8,390 net jobs have been added to the economy since May 2012.
The number of people employed in May 2012 was 160,650 compared to the 169,040 people employed as of May 2014.
The total labor force totaled 188,310 people in May 2012, compared 197,335 in May 2014.
According to the latest survey, 2,445 net jobs were created between November 2013 and May 2014.
The number of net jobs added to the economy between May 2012 and November 2014 was 5,945, the survey shows.
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News date : 07/19/2014 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories