Employment in Barbados inches higher in second quarter of 2021

Wholesale & retail trade industry employed the most Barbadians between April and June 2021 

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — Barbados has become the latest Caribbean nation to evidence signs of a gradual recovery from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as newly released labour statistics show a slight increase in employment in the second quarter of 2021.

The Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), in its Continuous Household Labour Force Survey covering the period of April 2021 to June 2021, outlined, “The total number of employed persons was estimated at 114,400, expanding from 105,700 persons in the previous quarter. On the other hand, the total number of inactive persons was down from 89,900 persons to 80,600 persons in the quarter under review.

The latest BSS survey shows 114,000 people employed from April-June 2021.

“As a result, the total Labour Force is now estimated to be 136,100 persons. The Labour Force participation rate for April to June 2021 was estimated at 62.6 percent… The Labour Force participation rate was 3.9 percentage points more than the figure of 58.7 percent recorded for the first quarter of 2021.”

A closer look at the statistics shows that more men than women were employed during the survey period, with 85.9 percent of the labour force consisting of men while a comparable 82.2 percent were women. However, it also shows that men had a 67.5 percent participation rate in the workforce while women had just 58.1 percent.

The wholesale & retail trade industry employed the most Barbadians, with 15,400 of the 114,400 employed people working in this field. It was closely followed by public administration & defence, which employed 12,500; and accommodation & food services, which employed 11,400.

The most common jobs included service workers/shop workers, accounting for 21,700 workers; elementary occupations, such as manual labour or “blue-collar” jobs, accounting for 19,500 workers; professional occupations, such as high-skilled jobs, accounting for 14,700 workers; technicians & associate professionals, accounting for 14,000 workers; and craft & related workers, accounting for 13,100.

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    The BSS survey also shows a slight contraction in the number of unemployed individuals.

    However, despite the labour force seeing some movement in the right direction, the battle against unemployment remains ongoing.

    The BSS noted, “The unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2021 was 1.3 percentage points less than the rate of 17.2 percent recorded for the first quarter of 2021.”

    It added, “The unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2021 stood at 15.9 percent. The unemployment rate for males contracted to 14.1 percent, while for females, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 17.8 percent. The actual number of unemployed persons totaled 21,700, representing a contraction, albeit slight.”

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    Links
    Barbados Statistical Service’s Continuous Household Labour Force Survey Q2 2021 — https://stats.gov.bb/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LFS_Bulletin_2Q2021.pdf

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