PHILIPSBURG–Data gathered from the 2018 Labour Force Survey conducted by the Department of Statistics STAT has put the country’s unemployment rate for that year at 9.9 per cent, the highest it has been since 2011 when it stood at 11.5 per cent.
The highest unemployment rate in the 2010s has been 2012 when it stood at 12.2 per cent.
The survey was a sample survey among households with the broad aim to measure recent developments of the labour market.
The survey puts the number of unemployed persons at 2,296, up from 1,388 in 2017 and 1,934 in 2013. The unemployment numbers for 2007, 2009 and 2011 were 2,446, 2,966 and 2,229 respectively.
Unemployment refers to persons age 15 years and over who did not work or have a job from which they were temporarily absent during the reference week, but were actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to the survey week, and were able and willing to work, according to STAT. Persons who did not look for work because they were on layoff or waiting to start a new job within the following 30 days are also classified as unemployed.
The number of employed persons in the country is tagged at 20,850. This is up from 20,954 as logged in 2017. In 2013, the employment number was 19,137. The number for 2007 was 20,720, for 2009 was 21,378 and for 2011 was 17,108.
The number of economically inactive persons for 2018 is 9,429, down from the 2017 figure of 9,846. The number stood 7,482 in 2013. Economically inactive refers to persons 15 years and over who are neither employed nor unemployed and who have not actively sought work in the last four weeks and/or are not available to start work in the next two weeks. This includes persons who are retired.
The labour force has grown in the past three survey periods. In 2018, it is logged at 23,146; in 2017 it was 22,342. In 2013 the number stood at 21,071.
The population is tallied at 40,614 in 2018. The number for the previous year was slightly higher at 40,535. The population number in 2013 was 36,175, according to STAT.
Data-collection for this survey started late September 2018, and lasted until November 2018. A total of 1,209 households were visited, and the response rate was 65 per cent.
The 2018 survey was conducted in September 2018 (low season, about a year post-Hurricane Irma) while the 2017 survey was done in February of that year – high season and prior to Irma. The 2013 survey was conducted in June (low season).
The topics covered in the survey were demographics: gender; age; country of birth; nationality; marital status; years on island; migration intentions; relationship to head of household; education: highest level of education completed, diplomas, trainings; and employment: employed status, main job, additional jobs, business ownership, economic status, contract details, membership in labour union, work benefits, and unemployed: length of unemployment, reason for unemployment; and income.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/85065-unemployment-rate-up-to-9-9-per-cent-in-2018