The country’s unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points (9.76%) to 4.5 per cent in the first quarter (1Q) of the year compared to a lower figure of 4.1 per cent for the totality of last year, the State owned Statistics Department said.
In absolute terms, the number of unemployed in the 1Q of the year amounted to 372,135; an increase of 13,628 (3.8%) over an unemployed figure of 358,507 registered last year. In tandem with these developments, the number of employed in the 1Q of the year declined to 7,961,358; compared with a higher figure of 8,208,179 last year; a fall of 3.01 per cent (246,821) since.
This drop was largely led by the services sector which saw 3,597,846 employed in the 1Q, in contrast with a higher figure of 3,736,500 last year, a decline of 3.71 per cent (138,654) in the contrasting periods. The next biggest drop in absolute terms was in the industries sector which suffered a fall of 107,039 (4.59%) to 2,224,455; followed by the agriculture sector, a decline of 1,128 (0.05%) to 2,139,057.
Meanwhile, the number of persons who were employable in the 1Q of the year was 16,033,845; an increase of 1.2 per cent (190,110) over last year’s figure of 15,843,735.
Of this 16,033,845 number, 8,333,493 (52%) were either employed or seeking employment, while the rest, 48 per cent, ‘were not interested’ in seeking employment for various reasons such as ill health, old age, and of being differently-abled.
Of this 8,333,493 number, 7,961,358 (95.5%) were employed, leading to an unemployed figure of 4.5 per cent. In contrast, last year, those employed numbered 8,208,179, a drop of 246,821 or 3.01 per cent in respect of the 1Q employment numbers.
In tandem with these developments, those either employed or searching for work among the country’s employable population reduced by 2.1 percentage points (3.88%) to 52 per cent in the 1Q, compared to a higher figure of 54.1 per cent for the totality of last year, it said.
‘Unemployed’ means the percentage of the population who are of eligible age to work and who are seeking employment, but are unable to find any jobs. Those who are 15 years and over are considered as being eligible to work.
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