– brain-drain a factor, says report
By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell
Anyone who supports the notion, “an uneducated nation is a poor nation” would understand why Guyana remains underdeveloped.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, more than half of the nation’s work force is either without any formal schooling or only attained a primary education.
The Bureau did its first ever Labour Force Survey (LFS) covering the third quarter of 2017.
The survey was conducted between July and September 2017 and was supported by the Inter-American Development Bank. The report also caught the attention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was mentioned in the Fund’s most recent Staff Report on Guyana.
The Bureau found that Guyana’s population is young and ethnically diverse. The average age is 39 and 47.1 percent of the population is under 25.
Persons of East Indian descent comprise 42.8 percent of the working age population by ethnicity, followed by persons of African descent at 28.2 percent.
The survey found that more than half of the working-age population received only primary education of no schooling. The Bureau found that 48.3 percent of the working population has a primary education while 9.9 percent of those who work never went to school.
It was found that about a quarter of the working age population has upper secondary education, but only 2.8 percent has a Bachelor’s degree or above.
The IMF noted, “Brain-drain of educated workers is an important factor contributing to this pattern.”
The employment-to-population ratio is slightly less than 50 percent.
IMF noted that the employment-to-population ratio of men has slightly declined from 66.3 percent to 62.1 percent compared to the 2012 Census while that of women has increased from 28 percent to 36.9 percent. Despite the improvement, the female employment-to-population ratio remains much lower than that of men.
Unemployment rates are higher for women and the youth. The unemployment rate for persons aged 15 and above was 12 percent, but the women’s unemployment rate (15.3 percent) was much higher than that of men (9.9 percent).
Youth unemployment rates were higher than the average unemployment rates for both men and women. The youth unemployment rate for men was 17.3 percent while that of women was 28 percent.
Earnings gaps exist between employment types and gender, and across occupations.
Salaried workers earn more than self-employed workers for both men and women. Men earn on average 1.36 times the monthly earnings of women for salaried workers and 1.94 times that of self-employed workers. However, part of the gender earnings gap can be attributed to longer working hours for men. In terms of implied hourly wages, men on average earn 1.12 (1.59) times as much as women among salaried (self-employed) workers.
Monthly earnings differ greatly across occupations, with workers in financial and insurance services, and mining and manufacturing sectors earning more than workers in other occupations.
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