24 APRIL 2002
The Economic Policy Division within the Economic Services Ministry reports that over last year the countrys labour supply, including both the full-time employed and the registered unemployed, rose by 913 (0.63%) from 144,016 in December 2000 to 144,929 in December 2001. A large part of the rise was in the female labour supply, which went up by 777 (1.93%) from 40,185 to 40,962.
The total number of full-time employed rose by 668 (0.49%) from 136,828 in December 2000 to 137,496 in December 2001. Again, most of the increase was attributable to female full-timers, up by 551 (1.41%) from 39,139 to 39,690.
Employment in private direct production rose by 366 (0.97%) from 37,571 in December 2000 to 37,937 a year later. Jobs in quarrying, construction and oil drilling increased by 204 (3.19%). Manufacturing employment was up by 173 (0.6%), which may indicate that for the year as a whole manufacturing employment weathered the international slowdown well.
Employment in private market services decreased marginally by 55 (0.11%) from 50,059 in December 2000 to 50,004 in December 2001. Within this total the wholesale and retail sector reduced its payrolls by 299 (1.91%), attributable to the failure of a major operator in this sector. Employment in the tourist sector decreased by 178 (1.92%). Within the twelve month span, the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy can be seen in the drop of 320 between September and December, considerably in excess of decrease of 135 reported over the same months of the previous year.
Public sector employment also increased by 425 (0.89%) from 47,992 in December 2000 to 48,417 in December 2001. It is important to note that during this period there were 466 imprest drivers who were converted from self-employment to public sector employment.
Registered unemployment was 245 (3.41%) higher in December 2001 than a year earlier, while the unemployment rate edged upward from 5.0% to 5.1%.
Longer-term developments can be gauged from changes between December 1998 and December 2001. Over those three years, full-time gainfully occupied increased by 4,472. Employment rose by 929 in private direct production and by 4,699 in private market services, while public service positions decreased by 1,313. Registered unemployed dropped by 477 while the unemployment rate dropped from 5.6% to 5.1%.
In December 2001, the number of registered unemployed stood at 7,433, which amounted to 5.1 per cent of the labour supply. The majority of the unemployed, or 82.9 per cent, were males whilst the remainder, 17.1 per cent were females.
In March 2002, the registered unemployed dropped by 216, or 2.7 per cent, over the previous month and reached 7,725.