Nearshore Americas
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Jamaica’s Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low

Jamaica’s unemployment rate fell to a new record low of 4.5% in April 2023, as the country’s skill training programs continue to pay high dividends.

The unemployment rate dropped more than 1.5 percentage points from the 2022 level, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. The total of unemployed Jamaicans fell by 19,700 (24.3%) to 61,300. Meanwhile, the number of employed people rose by 43,300 to 1.3 million.

More than 11,000 women found jobs during the period, a huge success for the country.

“Women were responsible for more than two-thirds of this increase,” said Carol Coy, Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. “The number of working women grew by 5.1%, or 29,700, while the number of working men increased by 2%, or 13,600.”

Jamaica is now the country with the lowest unemployment rate in the Caribbean.  The Bahamas, Barbados and Suriname have the highest unemployment rates in the region today.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) attributes the job growth in Jamaica to skill training programs, which have improved the employability of certain groups.

In 2020, the country’s National Training Agency (HEART/NSTA) launched the Digital Literacy Program, Tech$ense, which it expanded to reach a wider population by September 2022. This program sought to improve the computer skills of young graduates.

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Similar skill programs have also yielded positive results in other Caribbean countries, such as the Dominican Republic. In 2022, Dominica’s Work Online Dominica program offered a 12-week program on how to start working online, find new sources of employment and increase financial stability. The program was open to individuals aged 18 to 45 with internet access and a digital device.

In Curaçao, the government provided training to individuals who wanted to acquire skills to work in the tourism sector. The training covered customer service, product knowledge, culture and environmental awareness.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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