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April 2024 Labour Force Survey

GeneralApril 2024 Labour Force Survey

Photo: Labour Force Survey being presented by the SIB

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 26, 2024

The Labour Force Survey (LFS), which is a bi-annual survey conducted by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), provides data on employment trends during periods of high (in April) and low (in September) economic activity each year.

Today, the SIB reported on the survey conducted in April 2024, which collected information from 3,000 randomly selected households across Belize. According to the report, Belize’s population consisted of 409,357 persons, with 298,464 being of working age (18 years and older).

Of this working-age population, 170,853 individuals (57.4%) were active in the labor force, which includes both employed and unemployed persons. Employment rates were high, with 165,808 persons employed, translating to 97% of the labor force, while the unemployment rate slightly ticked up to 3.0%.

The survey indicates a number of underemployed and informally employed persons. Specifically, 4,202 workers, totaling 2.5% of the employed population, are underemployed, which means that they work less than 35 hours in the reference week, The informally employed constitute a considerable portion of the employed population, with 56,259 individuals, or 33.9% of the employed workforce, often having unregistered or less formal jobs.

Gender disparities are evident in labor participation rates; adult males aged 25 and over have the highest rate of participation at 81.5%, while young females aged 14-24 have the lowest at 34.3%. The distribution of unemployment also varies by level of education, with the lowest unemployment rate—of 1.9%—being seen among those holding tertiary qualifications.

The distribution of the employed population across various sectors shows high employment in wholesale and retail trade, repairs, tourism, and agriculture. Interestingly, monthly incomes from employment have seen a slight increase from 2023 to 2024, with the average monthly income for all employed individuals reported at $1,427 in April 2024.

In regard to weekly working hours, the results of the survey indicated that the average has risen from 41.5 hours in 2023 to 43.9 hours in 2024. Notably, the unemployment rate was highest in the Cayo District at 3.7%, while the Corozal District registered the lowest at 1.6%.

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