Unemployment rate rises to 15.6%

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—- Labour Force Survey 

Guyana’s unemployment rate during the first quarter of 2021 was 15.6 percent, Guyana’s Labour Force Survey found. The rate of 15.6 percent represents an increase when compared to 2020, for which rate was 12.8 percent during the first quarter.

“Unemployed persons are not currently employed, but are available to work within a short time span, and are actively looking for work,” the GLFS report explained.

Notably, the rural unemployment population represents the vast majority of the total unemployed while the unemployment rate for women appeared higher when compared to men.


According to the statistical report, in 2020, 20,788 or 53.3 percent of the country’s men were unemployed while in 2021, 23,865 or 51.3 percent of them were unemployed. In the case of women, 18,184 or 46.7 percent of them were unemployed in 2021 when compared to 33,085 or 48 .7 percent during the first quarter of 2021.

“The youth employment rate for the first quarter of 2021 was recorded at 31.4 percent which is higher when compared to the 2020 first quarter youth unemployment rate of 30.2 percent,” the report detailed.

Further, it disclosed workers in time-related underemployment was 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Notably, underemployment workers are the employed workers who fulfill three criteria – work fewer than 30 hours per week, are willing to work more and are available to work more.

“In the first quarter of 2021, the total population aged 15 and above residing in Guyana was 581,594 persons, the majority is based in rural areas (72.1 percent) and women slightly outnumber men within the working-age population. Such a proportion is more than reversed if one look at the labour force (the percentage of the working-age population actively engaged in the labour market) where men represent 60.3 percent of the total,” the report explained.

According to the survey, during the first quarter of 2021, the labour force participation rate was recorded at 51.1 percent – representing a slight increase when compared to 2020 (50.4 percent).

It noted that many Guyanese work within three main economic activities – agriculture, forestry and fishing; wholesale and retail trade and public administration and defence.

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