The Department of Statistics is pleased to release the following reports for 2017:
- The Labour Force Survey Report 2017
- The 2017 Merchandise Trade Report
The Labour Force Survey Report presents the findings of the Labour Force Survey which was conducted in 2017. This is the first Labour Force Survey publication released by the Statistical Department and will feature permanently among the Statistical Department’s releases going forward. A summary of the results reveal that in 2017, approximately 25,418 persons were in the labour force.
Males accounted for 53.4 % of the labour force, while the remaining 48.6% were females. The age group 35 to 44 years accounted for 29% of the labour force, followed by 25 to 34 years (26%) and the group 45 to 54 years (24%). The overall labour force participation rate (LFPR) was 80.3%. The LFPR ranged from 36.0% among those with at most a primary school and below education, to 89.4% among those with college/university education. The participation rate for females was lower than males in most of the educational attainment categories. In 2017, there were approximately 1,530 unemployed persons, which represented an unemployment rate of 6.0%. The unemployment rate for persons between 35 and 44 years (34%) remained the highest when compared to other age groups of the unemployed. Females experienced a higher overall unemployment rate (6.4%) than males (5.7%).
As a reminder the International standard definition of unemployment is based on three (3) criteria which should be satisfied simultaneously. To be considered unemployed an individual should be:
- Without work - i.e. not in any paid employment or self-employment;
- Currently available for work - for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period;
- Seeking work - i.e. have taken specific steps to seek paid employment or self-employment.
The Merchandise Trade Report highlights the merchandise trade performance for the period. The Turks and Caicos Islands Merchandise Imports total approximately $432.6 million for the 2017 calendar year. This figure represents an overall increase of approximately 11.1% or $43.3 million when compared to the 2016 imports value. Total exports of merchandise goods from the country were valued at $2.3 million at the end of 2017, compared to the $4.5 million indicated at the end of 2016. This represented a decline of 48.5% or $2.2 million in total exports over the recorded value in 2016.
A merchandise trade deficit of approximately $430 million was recorded during the calendar year of 2017. This was roughly 11.7% or $45 million above the deficit for the corresponding period of 2016. The increase in the deficit is mainly as a result of a slight increase in the value of imports when compared to a significant decline in the value of exports. As with previous years there were negative balances on all categories of goods. The Islands’ main trading partner continues to be the United States with more than 90% of total imports arriving from the US and more than 85% of exports being shipped to the US.