Unemployment down to 5 percent, says Statistical Institute

Unemployment down to 5 percent, says Statistical Institute

Unemployment is at 5 percent. That’s according to the Statistical Institute of Belize following its October Labour Force Survey. In October 2022, some 191 thousand 7 hundred and 28 people made up the labour force, with about 62 percent being males. Statistician, Wendy Benavides explained more during today’s presentation of the findings.

Wendy Benavides, Statistician II, SIB: “In October 2022 there were 191,728 persons in the labour force or 58.7% of the working age population. The remaining 41.3% were persons outside the labour force estimated at 134,775. This subgroup also classifies person by the extent of their attachment to the labour force and this group also includes those persons who did not have an interest or a job attachment. A further look into the persons in the labour force shows persons who are either in employment or unemployment, they cannot fall in both categories at any given time. Unemployed persons made up 5% of the labour force. Employed persons were estimated at 182,084 or 95% of the labour force. Within the employed population there is a subgroup of persons who work less than thirty five hours and were available to work additional hours. This subgroup is referred to underemployed and it represented 6.7% of all employed persons.”

By district, Stann Creek registered the highest unemployment rate at 8.7 percent while Cayo recorded the lowest at 3.5 percent. 

Wendy Benavides, Statistician II, SIB: “In October 2022 the estimated number of unemployed persons was 9,644 which represented a 5% unemployment rate. Across the districts Stann Creek registered the highest unemployment levels at 7.8% with females from the same district experiencing the highest rates at 12.6%. Cayo district on the other hand registered the lowest levels of unemployment at 3.5% and also had over half of its unemployed population experiencing joblessness for a year or more. Though unemployment levels decreased in all districts compared to this September 2021 round Cayo district registered the lowest due to unemployed persons finding jobs at a faster pace compared to the other districts. At the national level the female unemployment rate was seen at 6.8% compared to males at 4% however the rate of unemployment among women registered more than double than that of men across all districts except for Belize and Cayo districts.”

 The SIB also reports that employed people worked 43 hours a week on average, up from 38.8 hours in September 2021. The average income was 1,357 dollars, which represents an increase of 189 dollars compared to September 2021. The highest income earners were managers and professionals, whose monthly incomes were 2,215 and 2,047 dollars respectively.

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