In 2011, the census found that unemployment was at 23%. And while that figure is telling, the truth is that the census is not the right instrument to best measure unemployment.
For that, statisticians rely on the workforce survey - which takes into account seasonal employment and other variables. Well, the results of the survey conducted in April of this year were released today - and unemployment is still very high. As a matter of fact, it is the highest it has been in 14 years!
That's 14.4% - the highest it has been since April of 1998 when the national rate was 14.3 percent. That figure varies from district to district, but unemployment was highest in the Cayo district at 18.3% and lowest in the Belize district at 12.1%.
Unemployment is much higher for women than it is for men: Males unemployment rate is only 9.1% while women are at 22.3 percent. And, among ethnicities, unemployment was highest among Maya's with 18.3%, and lowest among Mestizo's at 13.6%.
And, those between the ages of 14 and 24 years old are the most affected by unemployment. Their unemployment rate is twenty five percent compared to about twelve percent for persons between 25 and 44.
The survey focused on 2,800 randomly selected households countrywide and elicited response from almost ten thousand persons.