Stats office to count workers

| 15/10/2008

(CNS): A shortage of funds prevented the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) from conducting a spring survey this year but the office announced yesterday that it will begin a Labour Force Survey this Sunday, 12 October. Since 1991 the office has, when funds permitted, carried out a household survey programme twice yearly. When complete it will offer a full picture of the country’s workforce.

From how many people are unemployed to how much the average Caymanian earns compared to the average expatriate worker the survey breaks down the details and trend of the labout market. The last survey released in March 2008 and conducted in October of last year found a population of a little less than 54,000 people 60 percent Caymanian and 40 percent non-Caymanian. The unemployment rate is an enviable, (when compared to many other countries) 3.8 percent and ex-pats make up some 49.4% of the workforce. Construction remains the biggest employer, with real estate and related industries second.

The next survey will tell us if those situations remain or how much has changed among Cayman’s working population. The random ‘sample selection’ is generated by computer and remains confidential and the ESO said that it has always placed a high priority on confidentiality and is committed to continuing this tradition. After the data is entered, questionnaires are kept for the required period of time before being destroyed. No information is ever entered which would allow someone to be able to link the data with the individual respondent, the office stated.

Most of the interviewers have had previous experience conducting surveys in the Cayman Islands and will have completed additional training prior to the start of the field work. All interviewers are required to take an oath or make an affirmation under the Statistics Law regarding confidentiality and they all carry photo ID. The survey will be conducted over three weeks starting on Sundayon all three islands.Most of the interviewers are employed during the day and must thus make the majority of their calls during the evenings and on weekends, as this is often the best time to find persons at home.

The ESO said it is appealing for the public’s full cooperation and to take part in the fifteen minute survey.

“The Cayman Islands has maintained a high survey response rate since the inception of the programme and it is hoped that this tradition will continue. One of the major benefits from repeating the survey is the ability to look at trends,” the office explained.

. For the analysis of the labour force, the survey has been conducted during this same period since 1991. Interviews should take less than 15 minutes.

For further information on any aspect of the survey, visit the Economics & Statistics Office, third floor, Elizabethan Square Building (Phase 3), or call 949-0940.


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