The Statistical Institute of Belize conducted its most recent labor market survey in September 2012. There are some interesting results when compared to the previous survey at the end of April, 2012.† The unemployment rate increased by one point seven percent to sixteen point one percent, meaning that more than three thousand persons were added to the unemployment numbers. There is a total of twenty four thousand three hundred plus without jobs.† The population grew by three thousand seven hundred persons to three hundred and forty-two thousand six hundred and thirty-six.† The labor force is highly uneducated with as many as seventy-five percent without primary or any level of education.† Those without formal education are at forty-five point nine percent while those who have a primary education are at twenty-eight point eight percent; which means that at least forty-five percent of the labor force is illiterate. Almost half, ten thousand four hundred plus or forty-nine percent of those unemployed have not completed any level of formal education and a whopping sixty-three point five percent are females. As expected, the majority of the labor force, seventy-eight percent are Belizeans; while over ten percent were born in Guatemala with one percent in Mexico.
The young population continues to be the most vulnerable hit by unemployment and most affected by limited opportunities.† Among those between fourteen and twenty-seven years of age, unemployment increased to thirty percent; a significant increase of four point seven percent from where it stood in April 2012.† That unemployment rate doubles the other highest rate of thirteen point eight percent among those twenty-five years of age. Unlike the April 2012 result that placed the Cayo district as the area with the highest unemployment rate, the Belize district has taken over with the highest joblessness. Also of note is that more females are unemployed; as many as fifty-six percent, but men fared better, their rate of unemployment fell by fifteen point nine percent to forty-three point seven percent. The unemployed by ethnicity was consistent with the 2012 results, which shows the Mestizo having the highest numbers of unemployed.
So to wrap up, there is a continuous increase of unemployment among young people which generally is the most productive work group. Also telling is the shift of the unemployment rate from Cayo District to the Belize district at a quick and high rate. Of course, the high unemployment of sixteen point one percent is a source of major concern.