By Alexis R. Milan
Belize’s unemployment rate as of April 2014 is 11.1 percent, down slightly from 11.7 percent in April of 2013, according to recently released statistics from the Statistical Institute of Belize.
As of April 2014 there were 16,730 unemployed persons in Belize, which according to SIB statistics is a slight improvement from 17,375 last April.
In comparison, Jamaica’s unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2013 was 14.9 percent, while Trinidad and Tobago’s was 11.3 percent. In Barbados it was 13.2 percent. Mexico’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent and Guatemala was 4.1 percent.
The highest unemployment rate was recorded in the Belize district at 14.3 percent, which is up from 11.6 percent last April. According to SIB, the increase is due to the influx of people to the labor force in the Belize district. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Toledo at 4.1 percent, down from eight percent last year. SIB explained that the decrease was due to people falling out of the labor force.
According to SIB the number of employed persons grew with the addition of 3,200 people. Unemployment still remains uneven between males and females with the unemployment rate being 19.4 percent for women and 5.9 percent for men.
The unemployment rate for Creole people as of April 2014 was 16.3 percent, 18 percent for Garifuna, 9.1 percent for Mestizo, and 4.5 percent for Maya.
Belize’s current labor force is made up of 151,317 persons and of that 61.7 percent are men while the other 38.3 percent are women. The labor force has grown by about 1,900 persons since last April.
The Belize and Cayo districts account for over 50 percent of Belize’s labor force while Toledo has the smallest labor force with seven percent. All districts except the Belize District saw decreases in the labor force.