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“Unemployment rate drops to 7.6%”

For April 2019, Belize’s labour force, which comprises of persons fourteen years and older, stood at two hundred and sixty-eight thousand eight hundred and sixty-three or about sixty-six percent of the population. As of April 2019, the unemployment rate stood at 7.6%, decreasing from 9.4%; it is cause for celebration as reports indicate that unemployment is at the lowest it has ever been in recent years. Wendy Benavides, Statistician II, breaks down the figures in this area.

Wendy Benavides  – Statistician II: “The majority of persons entering the labor force in April 2019 were males which was contrary to what was seen last year. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 2650 persons during the same period. While women have maintained participation levels in the labor force higher than usual, men still account with the majority in the labor force accounting for 60%. Persons living in rural areas also continue to be just over half or 52% of the labor force. Moving on to the employed labor force, approximately 164,428 persons were estimated to be employed in April 2019 of which the males accounted for about 61%. Both males and females contributed to the rise in the employed population with a net increase of 8478 more jobs. The net increase was mainly due to more employment in the Belize District, mainly in services and sales.”

Approximately, sixteen percent of the labour force are employed in wholesale, retail trade and agriculture. Meanwhile, employment in the tourism industry accounted for fifteen-point six percent of the labour force.