Virgin Islands Unemployment Rate
Unemployment rates slightly declined in the month of February by 0.2 points, the contributing factors to this change in rate was due to the spring session commencing at the university, which resulted in the return of faculty and work study students to the payrolls, and an uptick in payrolls at sub contractors performing short term projects at the refinery. Although, rates have decreased, and claims experience has softened, employment surveys still reflect a net 722 less jobs in the economy over a 12 month period. In the short term, rates are expected to slightly increase as a result of seasonality factors, and the temporary projects coming off line in the near future. (Source: Current Employment Statistics monthly survey). (Source: Virgin Islands VIDOLA Unemployment Insurance automated system).
The lower employment factor over the long run continues to influence higher unemployment rates in comparison to 2009. Employment numbers reflect a contraction in the number of persons on payrolls, and over 1,000 jobs have been shed in comparison to 2009 employment levels, despite seasonality factors. Despite drops in initial claims for unemployment, long term unemployment continues to be a factor, as the rolls of persons collecting extended unemployment benefits remain significant, and demand for workers is lower than the labor supply. This overall trend is expected to keep at this pace with unemployment hovering around 7.5% to 8.0% unless demand for labor increases by at least 1.5%, or declines in unforeseen market changes move employment downward.(Source: Current Employment Statistics monthly survey).