A quarterly Labour Force Survey done during the period July to September 2017 has revealed that the unemployment rate for persons aged 15 and above was 12%, with the situation for women being substantially worse than that for men.The survey was done from a total population of 550,831 persons 15 years and above, with some 72.2% living in urban areas. From this figure, only 271,068 comprised the total employed population during the time of the quarterly survey,Chief Statistician Ian Manifold handling over a copy of the quarterly Guyana Labour Force Survey to Finance Secretary Hect Butts on Thursday at the Marriott Hotelwith males accounting for 166,873 and females 104,195. Urban workers totalled 188,774, while the rural area had 82,294 workers.The labour force participation rate for all persons aged 15 and above is 56%, roughly equal to the corresponding 2012 value of 55.7%. All other data gathered were compared to information continued in the 2012 census.According to the findings of the survey, unemployment among women was 15.3% and among men 9.9%. The youth unemployment rate among 15 to 24-year-olds was almost twice that of adults, with 21.6%. Young women continued to face severe hardship, with 28% of them being unemployed.“The worrisome labour market situation of youth is confirmed by the proportion of youth not in education, employment, or training (NEET). It is recorded at 35.2%, and is higher for young women (63% of the total number of NEETs) and young urban dwellers (76.4% of the total NEETs). The general picture pointing to a marked disadvantage for women in the labour market is confirmed by the indicator regarding the proportion of women in managerial positions, which in the third quarter of 2017 was recorded at 37.8%,” the survey found.Meanwhile, the employment rate for persons 15 and above was 49.2%, with 62.1% being males and a mere 36.9% being females.It was noted that the percentage of employed people in time- related underemployment was 4.2%, with 72.2% of the underemployed being based in urban areas.The survey also found that 28.4% of the labour force is underutilized, while between 48.3% and 52.6% of the persons employed hold informal jobs.“The percentage of male workers holding informal jobs is higher than that of female workers (57.6 percent for males as against 44.6 percent for females),” the survey detailed.Further, it was found during the surveyed quarter that the average salary per month for employed workers is $82,636 while the figure decreases to $67,064 for self-employed workers.Meanwhile, the average weekly hours of work for all workers was 46.8 hours, with males working more at an average of 50.6 hours.These figures were revealed on Wednesday morning by the Bureau of Statistics (BoS). At the launching of the survey findings, Chief Statistician Ian Manifold outlined that in the absence of such regular surveys, there was no mechanism to track labour market dynamics such as unemployment, job creation, job destruction and workforce size, among other things.With introduction of a continuous Labour Force Survey (LFS), Manifold noted, the relevant data on the performance of the labour market will now be available quarterly, instead of every 10 years or any unspecified period. The information gathered in the surveys will provide sound market indicators to boost the growth of a thriving financial sector.“With the coming of oil production and the result of spin-off businesses, there would be a greater need for market planning indicators such as those that the LFS would provide. So it is very strategic at this point to make available to policy makers in the private sector the indicators of the LFS, so that they would be better able to plan their investments as (those relate) to the expansion or contraction of their businesses,” the Chief Statistician stated.The July-September 2017 quarterly survey was the first of its kind, and was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank to the tune of almost US$1 million.IDB Country Representative Sophie Makonnen said that given current economic activities in the country, the information gathered from the survey will be useful in tracking the labour market to prevent a skills-gap trap.“Recent, new and future investments in Guyana will generate increase in manpower needs. More than ever, I think Guyana needs to match the supply of their labour with the current and future demands for labour, ensuring that the population has the skills for the jobs that are going to be out there. Skills are a major driving force of growth through their effect on labour productivity,” Makonnen posited.Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Hector Butts has noted that Government has committed to continuous support of the project, to get critical data on the local labour market.“It is critical for governments to establish systems which are capable of generating data that will inform planning and development functions, and promote the implementation of policies that would promote efficiency and sustainable development,” the Finance Secretary noted.The survey was done by consulting firm Sistemas Integrales Ltd, in collaboration with the Bureau of Statistic and the International Labour Organisation. A similar survey was done for the period October to December 2017, and regular quarterly reports are expected going forward, with Government taking over the financing of the project.