Underemployment dropped by more than 10 percent between May 2018 and May of last year, according to the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Wayne Furbert.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday to present findings of the 2019 report of the Labour Force Survey as of the month of May and including the year before, the Minister said he was “very encouraged” by the findings to date.

He also noted that job satisfaction among Bermuda’s working class citizens was on the rise over the past year.

Highlights of the report:

  • The number of persons who were underemployed in May 2019 decreased by 10.6% when compared with May 2018
  • The median gross annual income from the main jobs of persons 16-24 years rose by 17.8% in May 2019
  • Persons of mixed and other racial backgrounds recorded significant gains in their median gross annual income which rose by 11.9% from $56,028 in 2018 to $62,711 in 2019

According to the latest survey results, the median annual incomes for the island’s younger workers went up by nearly 18 percent over the period covered, when unemployment was unchanged at approximately 5 percent.

The number of persons who were underemployed in May of this year decreased by 10.6 percent when compared to May of last year; which amounted to a total of 5,673 persons, or 16 percent of Bermuda’s working population.

“A sharp decline in underemployment signals an increased level of job satisfaction among the working population.

“Measures of underemployment include job holder dissatisfaction with working conditions, amount or scheduling of time worked; concerns with duration of employment, whether temporary or seasonal work; under utilisation of work skills; and desire for higher pay,” said Mr Furbert.

The median annual income for the main jobs of people between the age of 16 to 24 went up by 17.8 percent from $23,455 in May 2018 to “a whopping”  $27,631 the following year.

People of “mixed and other racial backgrounds” saw their median incomes increase from $56,028 to $62,711, or 11.9 percent from May 2018 to May 2019.

The median incomes of non-Bermudians saw an 8.8 percent increase, from $67,401 to $73,352.

The Minister noted that “the median is based on annual income before deductions”.

“Income data relates to the working population including full and part-time workers, regardless of the number of hours and months worked,” he said.

“The term labour force refers to those persons of working age who were 16 years or older during the survey reference week and were either gainfully employed or available and were looking for work.”

The island’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.2 percent during the course of the allocated period.

“The greatest gains in employment occurred among high school certificate holders, which grew by 12.6 percent from 10,627 to 11,969,” Mr Furbert added.

“Degree holders also made significant strides in employment level as their numbers increased by 9 per cent during this period.

“Other noteworthy gains in employment were recorded by persons aged 25 to 34 years, and 65 years and older, which increased year over year by 9.3 per cent and 8.1 percent respectively.”