ECLAC reports significant job growth in Caribbean services sector

Around 80% of people in Latin America & the Caribbean believed to be working in the services sector

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — As predicted by economic and employment experts, the services sector has seen significant growth of jobs in the Caribbean.

This is according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Services jobs have grown past pre-pandemic levels.

In its latest Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, the ECLAC noted that jobs in the services sector have actually outpaced where they were just before the pandemic struck the region.

The survey looked at three categories in particular: agriculture; manufacturing
and construction; and services.

“The pandemic affected employment significantly in all sectors, all of which have since recovered,” the ECLAC report noted.

“However, only in the services sector does the number of persons employed exceed the levels prevailing in the fourth quarter of 2019.”

Services jobs in the Caribbean are those that provide services to clients rather than goods. It’s a diversion from industries like agriculture and fisheries that have traditionally been dominant sectors in the region.

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    Most people employed in services jobs in the Caribbean

    According to the ECLAC, around 80 percent of the region’s collective workforce were working in the services industry during the first part of this year.

    This data aligns with statistics that indicate small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) account for a majority of formal jobs in the Caribbean.

    Caribbean jobs

    MSMEs account for most jobs in the Caribbean.

    The ECLAC report noted: “Until the second quarter of 2022, employment in the manufacturing and construction sector had been growing at a similar rate to that of the services sector.

    “But thereafter, employment in manufacturing and construction started to decline.

    “In the first quarter of 2023, it was 1.2 percent lower than in the year-earlier period.

    “This sectoral trend in employment mirrors that of economic activity, where the services sector has continued to grow while construction and manufacturing have slowed.

    “This employment trend meant that just over 78 percent of employed persons were working in the services sector in the first quarter of 2023.”

    Around this time last year, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica reported that the services industry in Jamaica grew by around 270 percent over a five-year period.

    Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill lauded the industry as a promising one and urged the nation’s youth to pursue jobs in the sector.

    The large percentage of services jobs in the Caribbean is even more pronounced in Belize. There, the Caribbean Development Bank estimates that around 90 percent of jobs are in that particular sector.

    Find the latest jobs in the Caribbean via Caribbean Employment Services Inc.

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