Employment Situation: January - March 2018 [Historical Data]
After a period of suspension the Virgin Islands Unemployment Statistics model has resumed estimating the local area statistics for the Virgin Islands. The impact of last year’s Hurricanes and loss of electronic data impacted the production cycle. In addition, the application and software used to produce the estimates was out of date and longer had support nor technical updates that would allow for the model to continue providing data on unemployment. On this release the agency has done the January 2018 to March 2018 estimates and will push out monthly estimates in the future. On or before the end of June 2018, the missing periods of August through December 2017 will be published to fill in the gap and a special report covering the periods immediately after the Hurricane into the 1st part of 2018.
Immediately after the storm the Territory’s labor force contracted despite experiencing some previous recovery from the sluggish job market and recessionary fallout over the past seven years. In the early months after the storm practically all employment was temporarily suspended and both employers and workers were impacted by the damages from the storm and the lack of power and communication an essential part of commerce. This break or cease in commercial activity resulted in a temporary work stoppage and filing of unemployment insurance which drove up claims activity during the last quarter of 2017.
In the months subsequent to the storms impact, the Labor force in Virgin Islands averaged 44,813 from January to March of 2018. The average unemployment rate for the Virgin Islands was 9.94% during the 1st quarter of 2018. As business activity resumed in the public and private sectors the count of unemployed slightly dipped as result of tourist related activity and some call back to work in all sectors of the economy. The unemployed counts for the VI averaged 4,453 with St. Croix climbing to approximately 2,363 in March and an unemployment rate of 13.0% and the St. Thomas/St. John area seeing 11.55% during the month of January due to carry over of initial claims filings as a result of lost wages or reduced work hours during the time period.
In comparing the over the year factors, the Virgin Islands labor force has experienced a decrease of approximately 4,000 not actively participating in the labor force or marginally attached to the force based on impact of the storm, closure of establishments, and a laggard 2018 tourist season. The district of St. Croix experienced higher contraction in the labor force (-2.4K) and the St. Thomas/St. John down by (-1.3K).
Total nonfarm payroll employment in the Virgin Islands increased by 75 to 35,377 in January, by 311 to 35,688 in February and by 355 to 35,994 in March, for a combined total of 741 jobs. This Combined increase is largely attributable to hurricane recovery projects.
Nonfarm Wage and Salary Employment: January 2018 - March 2018 [Employment Statistics]
Job gains for these three months were reported primarily in construction (+239), trade, transportation, and utilities (+139), other services (+136), leisure and hospitality (+96), government (+91) and education and health services (+40). Employment in other industries, including manufacturing, information, financial activities, and professional and business services, showed little or no change during these three months.
Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by over 2000 jobs for these three months, as the local economy continued to reflect the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria. With the exception of construction and other services, all other island industries shared in the decline.
Note: Employment includes non agricultural wage and salary employment. Data has not been benchmarked. Labor force is comprised of persons 16 and older who show up in our unemployment insurance wage data working full time or part time and actively seeking employment through VIDOL. This data set is not comparable with labor force estimates developed as part of the national cooperative program. Virgin Islands estimates reflect the use of prescribed BLS methodology but are not adjusted to an independent estimate provided through the CPS (Current Population Survey).
Source: Virgin Islands Department of Labor unemployment insurance claims data and the current employment statistics monthly survey of establishments.
Prepared by: VIDOL Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Labor Force Estimates (Unadjusted) pprovides a comprehensive body of data on the: labor force, employment, unemployment. This data is produced on a monthly basis. The labor force is comprised of persons 16 and older who show up in our unemployment insurance wage data working full time or part time and actively seeking employment through VIDOL. This data set is not comparable with labor force estimates developed as part of the national cooperative program. Virgin Islands estimates reflect the use of prescribed BLS methodology but are not adjusted to an independent estimate provided through the CPS (Current Population Survey).Source: Virgin Islands Department of Labor unemployment insurance claims data and the current employment statistics monthly survey of establishments.