Unemployment rate in the Bahamas declines 1.1%

Since May 2016, the unemployment rate declined from 12.7% to 11.6% due to an increase (4,025) of employed persons and a decrease (2,155) of unemployed persons. The three most populated islands that were surveyed experienced decreases in their unemployment rates. At the time of the survey (October 24-30, 2016) the rate in New Providence was 12.9%; in Grand Bahama, 13.3%, Abaco 9.1%. The islands of Bimini and Exuma were included to this survey round. Their unemployment rates were 4.0% and 8.0%, respectively.

Among the employed labour force, there were more men than women. However, in all the islands surveyed except Bimini and Exuma, men were fewer in numbers among the unemployed labour force

Employment among Youths (15-24 years) decreased slightly since May. However, when compared to November 2015, employment among the youths increased by 4.3%. The youth unemployment rate stood at 25.1% in November.

Discouraged workers in the country declined by 15% over the six month period. New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco experienced declines in the number of discouraged workers – 16%, 18% and 11%, respectively. These persons, according to the standard definition of the International Labour Organization (ILO), ‘’did not look for work because they believed no jobs were available for them’’.

Additionally, the data show that:

  • A little more than thirteen hundred (1,385) persons were employed as a direct result of hurricane Matthew.
  • Twenty-three percent (23%) of the Labour Force was made up of persons between the ages of 25 – 34 years.
  • Twenty-two percent (22%) of unemployed persons were between the ages of 20-24.
  • Sixty-two percent (62%) of the Employed Labour Force was engaged by the private sector.
  • The “Construction” industry showed the largest growth (16%) in employment since May.
  • The “Community, Social and Personal Service” industry, which includes the civil service, police service and domestic service continued to be the country’s largest employer in 2016 and accounted for 30% of the workforce
  • Prior to the passage of hurricane Matthew, 14% of households in the country needed repairs. However, after the storm 51% of the households in the country needed some kind of repairs to their dwelling. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of homes that were severely impacted was in New Providence and 18% in Grand Bahama. Damages to roof were the most severe followed by damages to floor due to flooding.
  • Of the homes in New Providence that needed repairs, 94% needed roof repairs and in Grand Bahama nearly all (99%) had roof damages.
  • Approximately 10% of households where the main source of lightning was electricity had their power disconnected due to nonpayment of their bills.

The Department of Statistics is the Government Agency in The Bahamas mandated by law to collect, process, analyze and disseminate statistics. It’s mandate is to deliver timely official statistics. Please contact the Department of Statistics @ 242-604-4000 for questions and enquiries. This release, with accompanying tables, will be immediately available on the Department’s website, www.bahamas.gov.bs/statistics. Further details will be available by February, 2017.

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