Unemployment rate at 12.8% at start of 2020
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Persons with a primary school or lower education level continue to account for the largest proportion of Guyana’s labour force
Persons with a primary school or lower education level continue to account for the largest proportion of Guyana’s labour force

–Youth unemployment pegged at 30.2%

GUYANA recorded a 12.8 per cent unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2020, following an average 14 per cent in 2018 and 13.5 per cent in 2019.
However, although the unemployment rate continually decreased, the youth unemployment rate experienced a slight increase, moving from 29.7 per cent in the last quarter (Q4) of 2019 to 30.2 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.
Meanwhile, persons with a primary school level education or less continued to make up the majority of the country’s workforce, accounting for some 55.2 per cent of it in the first quarter of 2020, and 56.7 per cent at the end of 2019.

This is according to information published by the Bureau of Statistics (BoS), which was garnered from the Guyana Labour Force Survey (LFS) in October 2020.
“The rural unemployed population represents the vast majority of the total unemployed for the first quarter of 2020, and the unemployment rate for women appears to be higher than that for men. The youth unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2020 was recorded at 30.2 per cent, which is higher when compared to the 2019 fourth quarter youth unemployment rate of 29.7 per cent,” the report noted.
The women unemployment rate continued to be slightly above average, with a rate of 14.4 per cent in 2020 almost on par with 14.7 per cent they carried in the last quarter of 2019.
The Bureau of Statistics has been conducting the Labour Force Survey since July 2017 to properly assess the state of unemployment in Guyana. The Bureau is set to begin the next batch of quarterly surveys on Thursday.

For the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, Guyana’s Labour Force Participation (LFP) rate experienced a slight increase to 50.4 per cent from the 49 per cent in the last quarter (Q4) of 2019. The labour force participation rate has been decreasing, since 54.5 per cent was recorded in Q4 of 2017, and moved to 51.8 per cent by the end of 2018.
The LFP rate is a measurement of the number of persons who are eligible to work, and are either employed or are actively looking for employment.
For the 2020 first quarter, some 602, 765 persons were above the age of 15 years, the minimum age decreed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for which a person is eligible for employment. Of those persons eligible for work, some 303, 834 were working or actively looking for work, of which 264, 862 persons were employed and some 38, 972 persons were unemployed.

Of those unemployed, 19,866 were youths, with youths being considered to be those who fall between the ages of 15 – 24 years. Of the unemployed youths, some 73.3 per cent of them were from rural areas, however, the rate was proportionate, given that 70.32 per cent of the persons who make up the labour force participation come from rural areas.
Comparatively, at the end of 2019, some 18, 570 youths (29.7 per cent) were among the unemployed, while those numbers stood at 16,838 (25.6 per cent) at the end of 2018, and was at 17,058 (22.9 per cent) in 2017.

Of the over 38,000 persons unemployed for the first quarter of 2020, 19,352 had been unemployed for up to six months, 6,634 up to 12 months, and 12,719 over 12 months.
The Private Sector continued to be the largest employment provider, accounting for 73 per cent of the employment, up from 67 per cent in the final quarter of 2019. The Public Sector, however, remained stable at 20 per cent both years, while not-for-profit organisations were down to seven per cent from 12 per cent in the 2019 final quarter.
Indo-Guyanese continue to account for the largest share of the working-age population, notwithstanding a slight dip from 45 per cent in 2019 to 43 per cent in the first quarter of 2020.
The share of Afro-Guyanese in the working- age population remained constant at 26 per cent in both 2019 and 2020, while mixed race persons moved from 20 to 23 per cent, and Amerindians dipped from nine to eight per cent. The average monthly salary also increased from $87,116 to $94,502.

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