Premier: Highest unemployment rate is among Caymanians with formal education
GEORGE TOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS — With the country experiencing economic growth amid strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Caymanians are back to work and unemployment is down significantly.
This is according to Premier Wayne Panton, who attributed the decrease to more jobs in the Cayman Islands over the last year and consistent efforts by the government to encourage Caymanian employment.
In a recent statement in the House of Parliament, he explained that the increase is the equivalent of some 3,000 new jobs for Caymanian citizens — not including any expatriate workers who were hired to fill shortages.
“The total labour force increased by 7.9 percent in the past year, to include 58,669 people as of June 2023,” Panton said.
“Correspondingly, still maintaining its best-in-decades performance, the overall unemployment rate dropped to 2.4 percent in June of this year.
“It is expected to average 2.5 percent between 2023 and 2024, significantly down from 5.7 percent in 2021.”
Panton pledged his government’s commitment to follow through on this momentum, noting: “The thrust to make Cayman’s job market a haven for Caymanians is front and centre in our minds.
“We are committed to improving the prospects of our people.
“It is imperative that we continue to chip away at Caymanian unemployment and ensure that our people are benefitting from the growth and strength of our economy.”
Strong skills correspond with jobs in Cayman Islands
According to the Premier, the Caymanians who get employed the most are those who at least have at least a high-school level of formal education.
“As has long been the case, the Caymanians with the highest unemployment rate remain those without high school level education and further training,” said Panton.
“What we have seen as well is that Caymanians with post-secondary education, including college or university degrees, had the lowest unemployment rates.”
To this end, he noted that his government will continue rolling out initiatives to help with skills training.
“It is not enough to create jobs; we must ensure that healthy, able-bodied Caymanians who want to work are qualified, trained and able to take their rightful place in our labour force,” he said.
The importance of transferable skills became particularly apparent during the pandemic in Cayman.
Premier Panton noted that many skilled workers were able to “switch employment industries” after they realized “the vulnerability of some service sectors.”
“Over the near term,” he noted, “we expect labour demand to continue to track with the GDP growth forecasts.”