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Unemployment rate in Jamaica 2020

In 2020, the unemployment rate in Jamaica was at approximately 7.95 percent, a slight decrease from previous years.

Jamaica’s economy is in good shape

Although on a steady downward trend after peaking at over 15 percent in 2013, Jamaica’s unemployment rate is still quite high but not alarmingly high in global comparison. More than half of the island’s population live in urban areas and cities already, and the numbers are rising. Most working Jamaicans are employed in the services sector, mainly tourism, but agriculture has been slightly growing as well – no surprise, since Jamaica is not only rich in resources but also cultivates and exports sugar, coconuts, bananas, cocoa, and citrus fruits, among other commodities.

The hottest vacation destination

Travel and tourism provide a large share of Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP). The island is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Americans, for example, and reported more than 2.3 million overnight tourist arrivals in 2017 alone – a remarkable increase over the last decade and a new record for the country. Many of these tourists visit in December, and in 2017, a winter vacation in the warm Caribbean has even outranked a stay during the summer months.

Jamaica: Unemployment rate from 1999 to 2020

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Release date

October 2020



Survey time period

1999 to 2020

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.

All figures are modeled ILO estimates.

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Statistics on "Jamaica"

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