The country’s unemployment rate decreased from four percent in the third quarter of 2016 to 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of the same year.
The Central Statistical Office (CSO) in its Labour Bulletin indicated that the unemployment rate among men decreased from four percent to 3.8 percent while the number of women unemployed dropped from four to 3.3 percent. However compared to the same period for 2015, the overall unemployment rate increased from 3.5 to 3.6 percent.
The CSO data also showed a decrease of 2,600 or 10.2 percent in the number of unemployed people between the third and fourth quarter of 2016. Unemployed men decreased by 800 or 5.4 percent while unemployed women decreased by 1,800 or 16.8 percent. When compared to 2015, there was an increase of 600 or 2.7 percent in the total number of unemployed people in the country. The number of employed people also decreased by 5,200 or .8 percent. The number of employed men decreased by 4,100 or 1.2 percent while the number of employed women decreased by 1,100 or .4 percent.
The CSO said increases were seen in jobs by industries such as community, social and personal services, 11,000 or 5.5 percent, petroleum and gas, including production, refining and service contractors, 4,800 or 31.6 percent and financing, insurance, real estate and business services, 2,200 or 3.9 percent. However, there were decreases in jobs in several sectors including transport, storage and communication, 7,200 or 15 percent, other manufacturing excluding sugar and oil, 6,400 or 12.9 percent, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, 5,400 or 4.6 percent and construction, 4,700 or 4.8 percent.
As for persons with jobs by occupational group, the CSO saw the largest increase recorded in technicians and associate professionals, 10,200 or 13.5 percent, service workers (including Defence Force) and shop sales workers, 7,200 or 7.7 percent and clerks, 3,000 or 5.2 percent.
However, the largest decreases were seen in elementary occupations, 11,700 or
10.1 percent, craft and related workers, 10,900 or 11 percent and plant and machine operators
and assemblers, 6,000 or 10.6 percent.
There was also a fall in the country’s labour force as it registered 631,300 persons at the end of the fourth quarter. This, the CSO said, represented a decrease of 7,900 when compared to the previous quarter. The data showed that the number of men in the labour force decreased by 4900 while women decreased by 3000.