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#498395 - 11/27/14 10:10 AM Unemployment Figure Down Year to Year
Marty Offline

What is Belize’s unemployment rate? Well according to the latest labour force survey, it is less than at this time last year. In September of 2013, it stood at 14.2%, but in September of this year it was down to 12.1%. The new Director General of the Statistical Institute of Belize explained at a press conference in Belize city this morning:….

Dr. Leopold Perriott – Director-General, SIB

"This graph is telling us that of the labour force that 12.1 percent of the labour force unemployed country wide. 18.4 percent of the labour force in Stann Creek are unemployed. The lowest of course 6.6 percent in Toledo is unemployed. The high levels in Stann Creek reflects the large amount of jobs that were lost over the last quarter, last half of the year. As fas as trends goes, we're experiencing a down turn in the unemployment rates. 18,479 persons are unemployed in September and most of them are in the Belize district; 37.1 in the Belize district and we have. That wouldn't be surprising with the biggest population"

According to the survey, eighteen thousand persons are unemployed, and unemployment rate is highest in the Stann Creek District – which is attributed to a downturn in the Citrus industry. Notably, the unemployment rate for youths, or persons 14 to 24 years old is an alarming 25%. During the survey period, Stann Creek lost the most jobs while Cayo gained the most.

In April when the last labour force survey was conducted, the unemployment rate was 11.1%.

The SIB also released the latest figures on the GDP today. Again, it showed strong growth – and they explained why:…

Jefte Ochaeta – Statistician I

"There is a cumulative growth up September of 4.2 percent in all economic activities. As you can see for the third quarters there has been a linear curve going up. We have a 4.8 percent growth rate compared to what was produced in 2013 for the months of July to September. What drove the economy? Well we had the primary industries increasing by 20.1 percent. That is agriculture and forestry went up by 20.4 percent. The reason being in sugar cane for instance in May last year the crop ended. But this year the crop went into July, so we had an excess of 50 thousand tons in July. Fishing industry went up by 19.8 percent. Production of shrimp increased by 53.5 percent for the third quarter and that correlated directly with the export of shrimp, which was 6.3 million more than the 3rd quarter of 2013. Livestock production had a huge increase and correlated directly with the primary industries. In 2014 for the months of July to September, we sold 7 thousand heads of cattle. Out of this 7 thousand, 80 percent was exported, either to Mexico or Guatemala. Pigs also went up by a lot. So all our animal production has been increasing. Given our poultry products, they produce 9.7 million tons of poultry for this 3 months. We ate a lot of chicken. We've seen increases in the beverage section in the manufacturing industry, it went up by 18.2 percent. Where beer went up by 10.3 percent, soft drinks by 13.3 percent and rum production by 20.4 percent. We could assume right, that most of the production is being marketed not only to Belizeans, it is being marketed to all these visitors. There has been 65,000 more persons from July to September and all these visitors, they come to enjoy themselves. So they need our beers, they can't drink Coronas in Belize, want to drink belikins."

But while the economists can haggle over who drinks what beer, for most people, they want to know about what’s in their shopping bag. And that’s express in the consumer price index – which is the measurement of what you pay at the market and the store for basic items.

The figure for the month of October shows a less than one percent increase from October of last year:

Angelita Campbell- Statistician II

"The average rate of inflation for January to October is at 1.3 percent and if you look closely, you'll see Corozal town reflects the lowest inflation rate of 0.1 percent. Followed by Dangriga at 0.4 percent. Then we have Belize city at 0.5 percent. We have Orange Walk town and Belmopan recording they same inflation rate of 0.7 percent. Then we have Punta Gorda town reflecting 1.1 percent and San Ignacio 1.6. We have Jamaica at 8.2%. Then we have Dominica by 2.9 percent. Closer to home we have Guatemala at 3.6 percent. We have Honduras at 6.3 percent. We have El Salvador at 1.9 percent. We have Nicaragua at 6.6 percent, Costa Rica at 5.7 and Panama at 2.1. The United States recorded an increase at 1.7 percent, while Mexico stands at 4.3. However the overall food index declined by 1.2 percent. The meat category went up by 0.4 percent and that is reflected in the increase of beef and pork. There was a decrease in eggs by 19.3 percent. There was also a decrease in pasta products. Vegetables also went down by 3.3 percent and this was observed in sweet peppers decreasing by roughly 19 percent and lettuce decreasing as well. Fruits went down by 3.4 percent, mainly observed in the decrease of apples of around 7 percent. Seafood also went down by 0.3 percent."

This was the last SIB press conference for this year.

Channel 7







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#498401 - 11/27/14 10:32 AM Re: Unemployment Figure Down Year to Year [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Statistical Institute of Belize today released its latest figures including the inflation rate for the month of October which remained unchanged from the previous month which recorded a 0.7% inflation rate. According to Statistician, Angelita Campbell, the consumer price index rose slightly in comparison to last October, from 102.9 to 103.6.

ANGELITA CAMPBELL

“The annual change of the CPI for the month of October stands at 0.7 percent which means that on average the prices are 0.7 percent higher than that of last October. The average rate of inflation from January to October is at 1.3 percent and there was relatively no change in the price in the TPI in respective to the previous month which is the month of September. The diagram here represents the index for all the food items index as well as the fuel index. If you will look specifically at the oil index which is in blue, we are moving from 102.9 to 103.6 which would correlate with an increase. The all food index shows a decrease from 108.6 to 107.3 and the fuel index also reflects a decrease from 111.5 to 108.5 and that will be explained later on. Higher prices were experienced in the transport category of 0.5 percent and that can be explained by an increase in driverís licenses which was offset by a decrease in fuel prices. The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up by 1.5 percent and that can be attributed to an increase in rent of 2 percent.”

Statistician Jefte Ocheata, shared the figures as it relates to Belize imports and domestic exports.

JEFTE OCHEATA

“According to the Standard International trade Classification Categories we had decreases almost throughout all of them with the exception of the CFZ, Commercial Free Zones which was down by twenty one point five million when we compare the ten months to last year and manufactured goods which was down by seven million. The largest increases in the SITC categories were observed in machinery and transport equipment which were up by twenty eight point seven million. This is mostly due to importation of motor vehicles for transport of goods like trucks, pickups, things that are used in agricultural sector. That went up by 12.6 million in imports of those types of vehicles. Also noted is the importation of private four cylinder vehicles increased by 6.9 million dollars. Mineral, fuel and lubricants increased by twenty million dollars mainly due to an increase of 13.5 million in importation of diesel and 4.8 million dollars in importation of butane. Also food and live animals increased by 6.2 million dollars . So from where did our imports come? Most of our imports came from the United States, it represents 31% of the 1.64Billion dollars imported in the ten month period. Second to this was other countries, the rest of the countries but the second rate is Central America. Central America imported 250.8 million dollars or 15% of total imports into Belize. Mostly we bought from Central America Chemical products, out of those 250 million 17% was chemical products, mostly fertilizers. From Curacao we’ve imported $215.7 million up to the month of October, that is basically where all our fuel comes from. From Mexico we have imported 179 million dollars, 30% of that figure is manufactured goods and the 26% is food and animal products. We have imported 11% of the 173 million as machineries from China. Now we are going to talk about domestic exports for the months of January to October. Export revenues totaled $542.6 million dollars. That is a decrease of $41.2 million dollars or 7% less than in the respective period of 2013.”

Director General Dr. Leopold Perriott presented the preliminary findings of September 2014 labor force survey. By mid-September Belize had a little over three hundred and sixty thousand persons. According to the latest statistics, unemployment deceased to 12.1% in September of 2014.

†DR. LEOPOLD PERRIOTT

“Working age population, these are the people who we can expect to run the economy. Working age population stands at 237,791 persons as of mid-September estimates. Of the working population we have two sections, the people in the labor force and the people not in the labor force. People in the labor force are people like students, housewives, retired disabled persons and people in the labor force are the people that are either employed or unemployed persons. Unemployed persons we estimate at about 18,479 are unemployed according to our definitions and the employed population which I have full time and part time workers they are estimated at 134,521 persons so relatively small kinds of numbers to deal with. As far as the working age population, the working age population we estimate at 237,791 14 years and older and the important thing to realize is that the working age population has two parts to it, it has the labor force which is 34.3%.”

JULES VASQUEZ

“Are we able to say that unemployment is consistently trending down?”

DR. LEOPOLD PERRIOTT

“I think we can safely say that it is consistently trending down at least based on these last two years. Whether or not we continue for very much longer is unknown.”

The median monthly income for all employed persons rose by $245 from $900 in September 2013 to $1,145 in September 2014.

LOVEFM


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