Belmopan- Preliminary from the Statistical Institute Belize (SSB) indicate that the national unemployment rate for that month was 9.7 percent, a decline of 1.4 percentage points from 11.1 percent in September 2016. This fall in the unemployment rate can be attributed for the most part to an increase in the number of employed persons for the period, particularly urban females.
Unemployment in the country’s urban areas fell by 3.2 percentage points, from 12.3 percent in September 2016 to 9.1 in September 2017, while rural areas saw a slight increase in the rate of unemployment
from 9.9 percent in September of last year to 10.2 percent for this September. The rate of joblessness among males inched up from 6.9 percent to 7.1 percent, while it fell by a full 4 percentage points among females from 17.6 percent to 13.6 percent.
Across the districts, Cayo recorded the highest unemployment rate of 13 percent in September 2017, while Toledo had the lowest at 6.5 percent. Compared to September 2016, the Orange Walk, Cayo
and Toledo districts all recorded a rise in the level of unemployment.
Noteworthy is that the unemployment rate in the Toledo district, which has consistently seen the lowest rates of joblessness in the country, has almost doubled since September 2016 due to a net loss of about 700 jobs across several industries.
On the other hand, Corozal, Belize and Stann Creek each saw a decrease in the rate of unemployment. The
Stann Creek district recorded the largest decline in its unemployment rate, from 17.7 percent in September 2016 to 8.7 percent a year later.