Unemployment drops to 3.6%
Trinidad and Tobago’s unemployment rate declined to 3.6% in the last quarter of 2016 down from 4% in the third quarter of 2016.
The Central Statistical Office said the decrease is not “uncommon” for this period and added that it was mainly due to “seasonality” changes.
In males, unemployment decreased from 4% to 3.8%. In females, unemployment decreased from 4% to 3.3% during the same period. When compared to the similar quarter a year earlier the data showed that the overall unemployment rate increased from 3.5% to 3.6%.
The CSO noted that in the period under review, the labour force was “particularly dynamic” granted that there were significant changes to the characteristics of the labour market.
Self-employed workers experienced the largest job loss in the fourth quarter of 2016 as was observed in ‘Own account worker’ by 11, 300 or 9.7%. However, the CSO said this decrease was offset by the ‘Government public service/statutory board’ by 8,300 or 6.2%.
There were also reportedly substantial job losses in ‘Elementary occupations’ by 11,700 or 10.1%, ‘Craft and related workers’ by 10,900 or 11.0% and ‘Plant and machine operators and assemblers’ by 6,000 or 10.6% when compared to the 3rd Quarter of 2016.
However, the CSO said while unemployment was high in the 4th Quarter of 2016, employment rose in many other occupational groups led by ‘Technicians and associate professionals’ by 10,200 or 13.5%, ‘Service workers (including defence force) and shop sales workers’ by 7,200 or 7.7% and ‘Clerks’ by 3,000 or 5.2% when compared to the 3nd Quarter of 2016.
The CSO said there was an overall fall in the labour force with 631,300 persons at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016 which represented a decrease of 7,900 or 1.2% when compared to the third quarter 2016. The data showed that males decreased by 4900 or 1.3% while females decreased by 3000 or 1.1%. According to the CSO, the overall fall in the labour force exerted downward pressure on the unemployment rate.
In terms of unemployment between the third and fourth quarter of 2016, the data reflected a decrease of 2,600 or 10.2% in the number of persons without jobs. Unemployed males decreased by 800 or 5.4% while unemployed females decreased by 1,800 or 16.8 %. A comparison of the data for the corresponding quarter in 2015 revealed an increase of 600 or 2.7% in the total number of unemployed persons in Trinidad and Tobago.
The CSO also noted that the survey data showed a decrease of 5,200 or 0.8% in the number of persons with jobs, in the quarter under review. The number of employed males decreased by 4,100 or 1.2%, while the number of employed females decreased by 1,100 or 0.4%. When compared to the corresponding quarter a year earlier, the data showed a decrease of 13,200 or 2.1% in the total number of employed persons in T&T.