Unemployment still growing

| 10/01/2010

(CNS): As the Cayman Islands domestic economy continues to suffer, there are currently 882 people registered with the Department of Employment Relations that say they are looking for work. Although figures had fallen in November ’09 from earlier highs of around 900 last year, the January figure has increased by around 40 people.  In what was a difficult year for Cayman when it came to jobs, Lonny Tibbetts, the director of the department, said it had managed to place over 200 people in work through 2009 and it currently has some 244 listed vacancies.

Tibbetts also said despite the particularly tough time, with a number of major layoffs over the last few months, since October his department has placed 51 people in work. However, he stated that twice as many people had registered with the DER saying they were seeking work in the same period.

Although Cayman has yet to get a true picture on the economic activity for the first six months of this fiscal year during the presentation of the 2009/10 budget, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson had predicted that Cayman’s real GDP growth in 2009/10 wouldbe down -3.3% and unemployment would reach an all time high of 5.5%.

With the collector of customs recently stating that imports to Cayman were down by more than 15%, a direct reflection of flagging retail sales, the prospect for job creation in the private sector is still low. With the school projects on hold, the glass house construction coming to end and all major government capital projects (with the exception of the affordable hosing initiative) on hold, government is also offering few opportunities to generate new jobs and pick up some of the employment slack caused by the economic downturn.

According to reports on News 27 this week, the chamber of commerce has also said that its members have reported a relatively disappointing Christmas season with festive sales flatter than expected.

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  1. Kockapaci says:

    OMG 5% unemployment! (I’m from eastern Europe…)

    There’s this joke you might know, little Johny hates pea soup, won’t eat it, arguing with his mother: "Johny, lots of starving children in Africa would love to have half this much soup!" "Me too!"

    Seriously, a single figure can’t give any meaningful description of the situation. What about inactives? What about underemployment? (professionals doing unskilled work)

    5% and rising structural unemployment (people without marketable skills) is bad, you need large scale adult education programs.

    Everyone working for years, and then spending a month or two between jobs when something happens: completely healthy economy, same 5% figure. (Do the math: working for 3 years, then maybe learning something new for 2 months until you find a job for the next 3 years…)

    So, any of the adult education agencies, public or private, hiring? I’m an IT and telecommunication professional, general science guy with a gift for teaching, my wife studies adult education, and we’d love to relocate.

    Oh never mind, guess what: we can’t get work permits.

    Good job protecting the interests of hard working Caymanians there, let them keep on sweeping the streets hard!

    • Too detailed for the mafia says:

      Don’t confuse the Mafia of the Mediocre with those who understand complex priniciples.  Try explaining to them the negative economic impact of full employment and watch their heads explode.

      • KockaPaci says:

        Confusion may lead to curiosity, curiosity may lead to self-education 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure that I’m not the only one to take these figures with a pinch of salt.  I would like to know how many of these registered persons are in fact unemployed and how many already have a job that they either don’t like or they feel doesn’t pay them enough.   It is a fact that any eligible person (unemployed or otherwise) can register with DER and DER will put them forward for any position that the person feels they are qualified for, whether or not this is actually the case.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian I have found it difficult over the past year to find a job at my skill level, I use to work for a major firm and was very happy with my job, I am once again seeking gainful employment and sincerely hope and pray that I will be successful in doing so.

    It is unfair for some to suggest that if you are Caymanian and unemployed that you are lazy, that is not a fair assessment for all, additionally work permits have been an issue forsome us whom have been looked over in favour of someone on a permit.

    I am not against expats in any way but some expats here in Cayman should never have been issued permits while professionally skilled local labour is ready and available for work. I will continue to strive for a job in my related field of previous employment, but am not going to turn down something other that is fair and reasonable.

  4. Yea Yea says:

    And we continue to grant work permits at an alarming pace. Cayman is no longer for Caymanians. To say that the registered people are not skilled is a crime. When are we going to wake up? It is time to downsize our economy in the same way these major Firms have down-sized.



    • Anonymous says:

      The work permits are granted for jobs that Caymanians either won’t do because they are hard working manual jobs, or jobs that they can’t do because they are highly technical jobs requiring qualifications,worldy experience and motivation.

      With a limited gene pool and poor education system Cayman cannot expect to produce enough suitably talented individuals to fill all the technical financial services jobs. Likewise the culture of young Caymanians being taught that they don’t need to go to school and being encouraged to have casual unprotected sex, has produced a generation of youths that are not willing to work hard or start from the bottom and work upwards.

      This is why the island still requires a lot of labour from overseas.

      Some commenters will disagree, but generally that will just prove my point further about the limited gene pool and lack of intelligence.

    • Columbo says:

      "And we continue to grant work permits at an alarming pace"

      Work Permits grants are down and declining. So that is wrong.

      There are over 200 jobs available, talk to some of those who are hiring. It seems Caymanains still won’t do certain jobs, if this is the case then the employer has to hire someone.

      In any other country most unemployed people will take any job that is available.

      I remember one recession when I swept the streets for 4 months and I was a qualified accountant. A job is a job

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes – you are right – but then when you were sweeping streets as a qualified accountant I’ll bet that most persons who were working as accountants in your town were not foreign nationals whose employers had promised to employ you first.

  5. Ball and Chain says:

    Unemployment and rising crime are a direct result of Womens Liberation. Jobs were taken from men and the family structure fell apart.

    There would be plenty of jobs available if someone stayed at home to look after the children.

    • CaymanLover says:

      Please take me through your logic.  How does a woman who works increase unemployment and crime?  If she is at work, she is employed and is likely employing a nanny or nursery worker.  As for crime increasing, unless she is employed illegally or works in an illegal trade how does her employment make crime increase? 

      You assume that children raised by mothers who work are criminals.  Also, these men who’s jobs were taken from them must have been underperforming to have lost their positions?!?!  Why can’t THEY stay home and raise the kids then.

      What about the women whose men have passed away or left them or perhaps don’t earn enough money on their own sustain the household. 

      Women’s liberation allows women to vote, to hold higher level/earning jobs, to pursue education and avail themselves of a plethora of opportunities they were previsouly precluded from.  You cannot blame that for the ills in society.  You are generalising and have no evidence to supoprt your allegations.  Actually I am annoyed now that I even took 5 minutes from my day to reply.  BUT I am a woman, raising a child who works and guess what, even though I took 5 minutes to reply I still get my job done and I’m damn good at it!

      • noname says:

        Funny…it’s the women taking away the men’s jobs? let me laugh, hahahaha

        I married to a 20-something Caymanian man who doesnt want to work. And I give thanks to the Almighty God above that I have a great job and earn enough to support us and our children, because where would that leave us? Out on the streets pretty much, with maybe a food voucher from Social Services.

        Yeah, he’ll find a job here and there and then find a reason to leave it after a few days or few weeks, too. Why? He has a problem with authority.

        So think about those women who are the SOLE breadwinners for their children, and give US the props for taking care of our children while the men (husbands, fathers, boyfriends, babydaddy’s etc.) dont gve a thought about what their children might need while they sit around on the street corners or hang down someone yard etc.

        And NO, he wasnt like that when I met or married him. But maybe he thought he found he "sugar mama". But guess what…that not happenin cuz I kick him out and sent him home for he mama to support him!

        So YES there are men out there that plain and simple just dont feel like working and will huslte here and there to get a little bit of money for themselves. I dont think they are included in the stats of the unemployed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    these people are unemployed by choice….. there is no reason why any caymanian should be unemployed…. maybe afraid of a bit of hard work???…. or maybe they think they too good for some basic jobs…….

    • Fallen Angel says:

      ‘Faced with work,  some turn up their sleeves; others, their noses. And some don’t turn up at all.’  –  John H. Hampsch,  C.M.F


  7. Get back to work says:

    There are major economies in the world that would love to have an unemployment rate of 5.5%. In the US and UK the rate is around 10%.  In fact, on some measures 5% is deemed full employment. The Cayman Islands doesn’t know how lucky they are. Before someone mentions those that have not registered as unemployed, other economies have their discouraged workers that don’t appear in the figures too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    With all that is happening it is clear to see that Prophecy is being fulfilled. This is just the beginning, the worst is yet to come. Our Country is much over populated, there was some of us that could have done something about this years ago. There is no good crying over spoilt milk. We went bannanas over letting in all poor people, a Country cannot run with all unskilled poor people. Lots of people are to be blamed for this.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wish we could trust the statistics given by the DER as accurate but unfortunately many of us have to view those figures with suspicion. I have learned that one person is sometimes listed for six or more posiitons if the department deems one’s "skills set" to lean in that direction regardless of the fact that the individual might not even be interested in that kind of job! There is so much confusion and I know of instances where employers have been told that a person is available but when called the prospective employee explains that they did not register for such a position nor do they have experience in that job category and was surprised by the call. The so called DER database seems to be in such a mess that I would be reluctant to accept any of those stats as accurate.

  10. SoleProvider says:

    Registering unskilled or improperly trained persons at the DER will not solve the problem.

    Until this country places priority on a technical/vocational school and other training facilities for local industry (a financial services training centre and a hospitality/tourism training centre) unemployment, crime, social services budgets and legal aid costs will continue to escalate. 


    • Anonymous says:

      What makes you think that all people registered are unskilled or improperly trained? I think your assumptions need adjusting. There are Caymanians currently unemployed who are well educated and trained. 

      I do agree that Cayman needs to have vocational training facilities, however, the current unemployment situation goes beyond individuals being unprepared educationally or lacking training. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t believe you. Any Caymanian that is educated and trained to international standard is, or could be employed right away.

        Those that are ‘qualified and educated’ by means of achieving a high school leavers certificate are NOT actually qualified or educated at all.

        A 50m backstroke certificate is not a qualification that is going to entitle a Caymanian to a management position.

        Well educated here seems to mean something completely different than elsewhere in the world.

  11. Patience says:

    There is always a lag in re-employment as an economy comes out of a recession.  Cayman, with the current economy compromising duty increases and the restrictions on new businesses starting up, will take longer than it needs to turn the corner.  Harming existing businesses by interfering with their workforce is not the way to go as it will only cost Caymanian jobs in the medium to long term.