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#431235 - 02/24/12 03:07 PM Statistical Institute Clarifies Unemployment Rate
Marty Offline
And one of the campaign issues that the PUP has been harping in its district public meetings so far is unemployment.

The census figures released in 2011 - showed that figure at 23% - which has been the source of much politicking and public discourse since.

But the census survey is different from the labour force survey. And today, no doubt in response to all the political points that have been scored using the 23% figure - the Statistical Institute of Belize issued a release clarifying that difference.

The release explains that the labour force survey in 2009 showed a 12.5% unemployment rate in 2009 - much lower than the census. And that's because the survey is done in September when seasonal employment is high - and students are back in school.

The census on the other hand goes on for seven months mostly during the period when seasonal employment is low.

The disparity between the 2000 census - which showed unemployment of 20% and the labor force survey in 1999 - which showed unemployment of 12.7% was similar.

The next labor force survey will be held in April and September of this year.

Channel 7

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#431241 - 02/24/12 03:11 PM Re: Statistical Institute Clarifies Unemployment Rate [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
STATISTICAL INSTITUTE SPEAKS ON UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES

The Statistical Institute of Belize has issued a press release clarifying differences in the last two sets of unemployment figures. The figures for 2009 show a 12.5% rate of unemployment; while the statistics for 2010 show a dramatic increase with the rate standing at twenty three point two percent. According to the official explanation the 2009 statistics, that is the twelve point five percent unemployment rate, is based on a labor force survey that was taken in 2009. The higher rate or twenty three point two percent, according SIB, was based on data collected during 2010. The official statement says that while the two studies asked the same questions to determine who was employed or unemployed, the difference in the time the surveys were taken accounts for much of the variation between the two rates. SIB says that data collected in the 2009 labor force survey was done in September with the results referring only to that month. Data collection for the census on the other hand covered a seven month period from May to November of 2010. The latter period covered a time when the Institute says that vacationing students would have been able to join the workforce, accounting for a sizeable increase in the labor force. The dramatic increase noticeable in the data starting in September, according to SIB reasoning, would have reflected the fact that many of the vacationing students had gone back to classes. The official statement ends by saying that given the significant variations in the unemployment rate of the course of a year, and from one year to another, the Institute plans to resume conducting labor force survey in April and September to give a fuller assessment of the country’s unemployment situation.

LOVEFM

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#431356 - 02/25/12 03:50 PM Re: Statistical Institute Clarifies Unemployment Rate [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize Government Tries To Explain High Unemployment Figures


Tourism is one the better sources of employment for many Belizeans

The record high unemployment figures have become a factor in the political campaign leading up to the 7 March Belize General Elections. The government’s Statistics Institute has today issued a press release attempting to reframe the figures that show that one out of four Belizeans is out of work:

The Statistical Institute of Belize, as the only official source of unemployment statistics for Belize, wishes to explain the difference in the last two unemployment rates that it has published which show a 12.5% rate in 2009 and a 23.2% rate in 2010.

The reason for the difference is that labour force surveys provide only a snapshot of the unemployment situation at the time the survey is taken. As further explained below, the 12.5% rate was based on a labour force survey taken in September 2009 while the 23.2% rate was based on data collected during the 2010 Population & Housing Census.

While the two studies asked the same questions to determine who was employed or unemployed, the difference in the time the surveys were taken accounts for much of the variation between the two rates. This result is similar to 2000 when the census produced a national unemployment rate of 20.3% while the two labour force surveys done in April of the two years preceding the census year, showed rates of 14.3% and 12.8%.

The details are as follows: Data collection for the 2009 labour force survey was done in September, with the results referring to only that month. Data collection for the census, meanwhile, lasted for almost seven months, starting in May and continuing to the end of November. During the summer period, many students enrolled in high school and higher levels of education would have been on vacation from school and therefore available for employment.

This would have caused a sizeable increase in the labour force (employed and unemployed population) since some students would normally seek employment when not in school. Given that jobs would have been created at much slower rate than students were entering the labour force, the unemployment rate would naturally have increased. However, it would have decreased in September when the students are back in school and no longer available to work.

In order to compare unemployment rates, it is very important to ensure that there is consistency in the methodology used, and that seasonal variations – which account for swings in the unemployment rate - are taken into account.

Put simply, if the purpose is to assess improvements or deteriorations in a country’s unemployment situation, it is best to compare one period of a year to the same period of another year than to compare two periods of the same year. For example, in September 2007, the national unemployment rate was estimated at 12.1% which is very similar to the September 2009 figure.

Given the significant variations in the unemployment rate over the course of a year, and from one year to another, the Institute plans to resume conducting labour force surveys in April and September to give a fuller assessment of the country’s unemployment situation.

SOURCE


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