BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Barbados has recorded a slight increase in unemployment during the period January to March this year as compared to the same period last year, the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) has said.

It said that the rate of unemployment for the first three months of the year stood at 9.7 per cent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the rate of 9.4 per cent recorded for the same period in 2017.

The BSS said that the number of people employed totalled 126,400; of whom 65,800 were males and 60,600 were females.

It said that the total number of the unemployed stood at 13,600 and that, in total, the number of people in the labour force stood at 139,900. The number of people not actively looking for work, hence excluded from the labour force, was 80,200 individuals, it added.

The BSS said that the labour force participation rate stood at 63.6 per cent, with participation among males at 68.4 per cent and 59.2 per cent among females.

In the first quarter of 2018, the wholesale and retail trade sector generated jobs for the largest number of people, employing 19,900 individuals, while the accommodation and food services sector employed 17,600 individuals.

The construction, mining and quarrying sector generated employment for 11,900 individuals and the Public Administration & Defence Sector provided employment for 8,700 individuals.

The BSS also reported on other sectors which it said provided employment opportunities for thousands of Barbadians.