Labour Force Survey: Unemployment Rate At 7%

January 4, 2016

The 2015 Labour Force Survey Executive Report from the Department of Statistics was released today, indicating that the unemployment rate was measured at 7%, the workforce declined by 37 workers in 2015 and non-Bermudian workers posted an increase of 5% [or 377 positions] for the year while there was a 2% decline in the number of Bermudian workers with 413 jobs lost in 2015.

Premier Michael Dunkley said, “This report provides findings on employment and the unemployment with comparisons for the years 2012 to 2015.

“Readers should note that since releasing the 2015 Labour Force Survey Preliminary Report in August 2015, the Department of Statistics has reweighted the survey results for the years 2012 through 2015 using population projections.

“The results published in the preliminary report and in reports published previously used the 2010 Census data for weighting purposes.”

Chart #1 extracted from the report:

Fullscreen capture 04012016 40544 PM

The report said, “The workforce declined by 37 workers in 2015, from 33,717 reported in 2014 to 33,680 in 2015. The number of males in the working population fell by 75 persons, while females showed a slight increase of 39 persons.

“Notable job gains were reported among non-Bermudians in 2015. Non-Bermudian workers posted an increase of 5% or 377 positions for the year. In contrast, there was a 2% decline in the number of Bermudian workers with 413 jobs lost in 2015.

“Median gross annual income reached $63,271 in 2015 as employment earnings from the main job increased by 5% in comparison to the 2014 median income of $60,295.

“The increase in the employment earnings was attributed to the rise in the number of workers earning $235,000 or more per year. The largest share of workers that earned $235,000 or more was reported within the technical and associated professional occupations.

Chart #2 extracted from the report:

Fullscreen capture 04012016 41230 PM

“The median annual pay packets of males and females increased in 2015. The median annual income for males rose by 5% from $59,586 in 2014 to $62,460 in 2015. Females received a 4% jump in median annual pay to $63,839 in 2015.

“Between 2014 and 2015, non-Bermudian workers reported a 10% increase in median annual pay with $80,322 compared to $73,300 in 2014. The median annual salary of Bermudian workers grew by 4% to $60,250.”

“The unemployed are defined as persons 16 years and older who were not working but were actively seeking work during the reference period. The jobless rate improved to 7% in 2015 from the 9% reported in the previous year. The number of people looking for work dropped to 2,348 in 2015 from the 3,210 reported in 2014.”

Electronic copies of the report can be downloaded from the Department of Statistics website, and it is also printed below.

The full survey report follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (33)

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  1. jeremy deacon says:

    and 23 percent youth unemployment ….

    • Zevon says:

      And youth unemployment was 36% in 2012.

      • Still too high. “Foreign workers” who came here under the oba’s “open up Bermuda to the world policy,” have off-springs, which constitute apercentage too, is NOT recorded.Also, the great percentage for Bermuda’s own youth, cannot find gainful employment because the labour force includes these foreign workers’ off-springs.
        Just look around! Those stats are real and unfair and NOT INCLUDED!!

        • Pastor Syl says:

          I think you are mistaken. Anybody who is not Bermudian, off-spring of a work-permit holder or not, is not automatically eligible to work here.They have to go through the same permit process as their parents. You may have been confused by the report a few years back that there was a proposal which would have allowed off-spring to work without undergoing the permit process. That proposal was removed very quickly. It never happened.

        • Zevon says:

          the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds has reduced from 36% in 2012 under the PLP to 23% in 2015.
          The OBA are putting Bermuda’s youth back to work, after the callous disregard of the issue by the PLP, who were only interested in lining their own pockets.

          • LOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

            That may be true, but in 2014 it was higher.

            • serengeti says:

              It has not been as high as it was in 2012 since then. Obviously you hate to admit it, but the trend is definitely in the right direction.

              • The Truth says:

                The point is that 9% is higher than 8% so if you base it on this alone LOLOLOLOLOLOL is correct it was higher in 2014. Although all considered these numbers aren’t a good gauge since the labour force has dropped by more than a thousand between the compared times.

        • Anon Ymous says:

          Also not recorded are the tax free ‘hustles’ and cash under the table second jobs (which could be construed as denying a position to those 7% unemployed) – how much of this is taking place, do you think?

  2. umok says:

    The unemployment rate measured at 7% is misleading. There are still less people employed in 2015 than all the other years on the chart. The number of persons employed has been declining annually. There are 933 less people employed in 2015 compared to 2012.

    Based on the data in the survey, foreigners are at a slight advantage in Bermuda for employment but that could be due to a number of reasons.

    The survey also doesn’t state why the Labour Force shrunk by 899 between 2014 and 2015.

  3. Navin Johnson says:

    People have left Bermuda

    • yess says:

      To go where and why?

      • Pastor Syl says:

        There are no statistics to answer those questions that I know of. Best guess is they are leaving for what is perceived as greener pastures. Not sure if that is what they are finding, though.

      • Sickofantz says:


  4. rhonda says:

    The oba promised 2k jobs, they never said jobs from Bermudian… Well done oba..
    Is the oba working for you the voter?

    • The Truth says:

      OBA is working for the voters. The future voters that PLP helped bring to Bermuda and have stayed working on island getting their permits passed over and over again while bringing in their whole family in bit by bit. They will get their status and then they will vote OBA again and their relatives will get theirs. Just remember who started it all. Under DREB the most permits were ever past in the history of Bermuda. Which corner of the globe were DREB and his band of merry ministers always off to for foreign ties? How has Bermuda’s demographics changed since? The answers to these will lead you to the truth. In a nutshell OBA is working ultimately for the same people PLP were working for. Themselves!

  5. Don't tell them the truth says:

    Lots of Bermudian have left and most have found job when they could not find any here in Bermuda.

    • The Truth says:

      That’s because Bermuda’s Governments past and present have allowed employers AKA stakeholders to dictate a job description. The places abroad where Bermudians have found jobs have government departments research what each job in their country entails in it’s description. Immigration rule’s are designed around government gathered stats of that job position not the stories of the stakeholders. Employers can’t embellish a position in these countries so entry level positions remain available and so do positions at higher levels as others move up the ladder. Balance is the key to economic success.

      • Zevon says:

        It is amazing that people believe this stuff.
        Come on then. Where in the world do governments dictate job descriptions in private industry?
        Jobs gravitate to places where there are less restrictive rules, not more.

        • lou says:

          “Jobs gravitate to places where there are less restrictive rules, not more.

          Not always a good thing in and of itself. Sweatshops were and are still used for that very reasons. Countries and corporations that live by this creed are also responsible for perpetuating horrid conditions for foreign workers and further displacing local populations.

          • serengeti says:

            The point is that “The Truth” was talking nonsense.

            • The Truth says:

              No nonsense just the truth.

              Zevon is correct that jobs gravitate to places where there are less restrictive rules but lou is also correct that those places are the ones known for having low regard to human rights. The people who work in these places leap at any chance to migrate to a place where there are more restrictive rules on the employer because they know they will earn a better living there and have better benefits. They will wait years just to get a chance to work in these countries because the laws of the country say they can only come when there’s a place for them.

              Zevon has misconstrued what I said as I didn’t say governments dictate job descriptions they just don’t allow employers to dictate them and actually compile knowledge about the job so they know who they have already available for it. They also compile knowledge about their citizens for the same purpose. In countries reliant on income taxes it’s important that those already residing there who can work do so. I would love for someone to direct me to a foreign worker application that is as easy and unregulated as Bermuda’s. All positions in these other countries have a descriptive definition and whether it is closed or open. Bermuda only has a list without proper definitions so it allows employers to embellish. Waiter is a closed position but more than half the waiters in Bermuda are on work permits because the employer makes up a name for what is simply a waiter and embellishes the made up positions requirements.

      • True Lies says:

        That is hilarious. Which countries are you talking about?

        The countries that I have worked in (Canada, U.S. and England) do not have the government telling them what to write in their job descriptions. Rather, international companies keep their entry-level positions in these countries so they can pay them less. Why pay a college grad in Bermuda 60K+ when you can pay a college grad in Canada 30K for the same role? The cost of living is so high in Bermuda that it doesn’t make sense to have entry-level jobs here.

        • The Truth says:

          Canada has what they call a Labour Market Impact Assessment which is an assessment done by a government department for an application to bring in a foreign worker. The department doesn’t ask for the employers input because they gather factual data for every part of their labour market yearly. This is what these department’s workers get paid for unlike ours. They have every citizens data attached to their SIN so they know who’s employed and who isn’t and what their labour market is. If they see that there are too many unemployed in the labour market a permit application has been submitted for it is denied. The SIN is taken very seriously in Canada since all is tied to it from health benefits to major purchases. In Bermuda the SIN is only has employment tax information and many times it isn’t even used properly for that and employers and employees get away without paying their full taxes. Bermuda’s government should have a data bank of every job their citizens have ever worked in.

          • serengeti says:

            So where’s the bit about how job descriptions in private companies are dictated by the government?

  6. youSerz!? says:

    Who these ***?** question?! I know they do not have many accounted for. No ones reached out to our part of bda that are still unemployed since..

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Actually , I have the same question .
      I know many people who lost their jobs as far back as 2010 who remain unemployed , or in some cases are ‘lucky’ to be underemployed .
      None of them are registered with any government agency or have ever been canvassed on their employment status.

      • yess says:

        The unemployed numbers are more likely to be higher realistically.

      • The Truth says:

        Government has made it easier to get financial assistance than a job whereas they should be doing the opposite. Too many employers are happy to sign the financial assistance questionnaire saying they don’t have a job for them. Government should be looking at these employers who sign the questionnaire and see how many work permits they have. The ones who are working are the ones paying others financial assistance and employers willingly signing them off are worsening our economy just so they don’t have to hire a local. For a country with such a small population it’s ridiculous that well over 10 million a year gets put aside for welfare. If you are able to work you should be working even if it’s as a waiter or potwasher and then you should be made to provide proof of amount of income and if you still need financial assistance then it’s portioned to you in consideration to what you already make. You want assistance but don’t work at all then you are told no. If they did it this way I bet loads of reports will be coming in about employers hiring foreigners over locals because there would be no more hand outs for couch sitting and people will literally be so hungry for a job they would throw the employer who unhesitantly signed their assistance form under the bus in a heartbeat.


    Jobs are being created but for whom? whither the Bermudian a stranger in his own country.

  8. average Bermudian says:

    To REALLY see the extent of this employment issue of Bermudians – either unemployed or underemployed – Everyone should stand as one – at one time- ALL TOGETHER

    Are the 2000 jobs factored into these numbers ???

    The effect of the recent and significant immigration changes by Minister fahy are working ( to the detriment of the average bermudian)

    THE stats don’t lie – (if gathered correctly)