Supply Side of the Labour Market Curaçao: results of the Labour Force Survey 2016

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Supply Side of the Labour Market Curaçao: results of the Labour Force Survey 2016

Summary Supply side of the Labour Market Curaçao : Labour Force Survey 2016

The labour force, also referred to as the economically active population, encompasses the non-institutionalized employed and unemployed population aged 15 years and older. In comparison to September-October 2015, the labour force of Curaçao increased by 7.2% in September-October 2016 reaching a level of 75,070 persons. In terms of absolute numbers, the increase in the labour force was mainly due to an increase in the employed population. However, relatively, the increase can be attributed to a large increase in the share of the unemployed population.

The number of the employed population in September-October 2016 increased by almost 3,330 persons compared to September-October 2015 (5.3%). The total employed population consists of about 65,100 persons. Of this population, around 2,000 were unemployed one year before (in September-October 2015) and about 1,050 were attending school.

The increment in the employed population was visible in both sexes. However, figures of the labour force survey suggest that the mutation of the increment increased along with increase in age. For example, the increase in the employed population in the age group 55–64 years was higher (8.7%) than the increase in the employed population in the age group 35–44 years (1.6%).

In September-October 2016, the size of the unemployed population was 9,953 persons, which is 1,755 persons (21.4%) more than in September–October 2015. Accordingly, the unemployment rate increased to a level of 13.3% in September-October 2016. This is 1.6 percentage points higher than in September-October 2015. The unemployment rate in 2016 increased for both sexes, where women continued to have higher unemployment rates than men.

Of the working-age population (15+ years) in Curaçao, 59.0% was available to supply labour (labour force participation rate), while for the age group 15-64 years specifically, this was 70.4%.

In terms of age, the increase in the labour force was visible in all age groups. The largest percentage increase in the labour force took place in the age group 15-24 years and this increase was mainly due to an increase in the unemployed population in this age group. Consequently, the youth (15–24 years) continued to have the highest unemployment rate in 2016 (youth unemployment rate), being 36.8%. This is an increase of 7.1 percentage points in comparison to September-October 2015, when the youth unemployment rate was 29.7%. Nevertheless, when analysing the youth unemployment rate it is useful to take certain matters into account. For instance, 31.6% of the unemployed youth were attending a daytime education. In other words, about three of every ten young persons seeking work was receiving a daytime education, which could have hampered their being completely available to accept a job and actually start working.

Of the employed population, the majority continued to work as employees in permanent service, 58.9%. Although the percentage is lower in comparison to September-October 2015. The greatest increase in employment continued to be for flexible economic positions, such as casual workers/freelancers. In terms of occupation, there were no significant differences in 2016 in comparison to 2015. The most reported occupation among men continued to be ‘Craft and related trades workers’ (19.8%) and among women, ‘Service and sales workers’ (21.7%). The majority of employed persons in 2016 continued to work in the sectors: ‘Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’; ‘Accommodation and food service activities’, and ‘Human health and social work activities’.

Of the unemployed population, the majority of the persons who were actively looking for a job have been unemployed between 1 and 12 months (45.2%). But a high proportion has also been unemployed for a year or longer (46.3%). A similar situation existed in 2015.

The economically not active population consisted mainly of pensioners (51.5%) and students (23.7%) who wanted to finish school before moving into the labour market.