The Department of Statistics today released the results of its
[Labour Force Survey](http://statistics.bahamas.gov.bs/key.php?cat=21), conducted in May of this year in conjunjction with the Household Income Survey. The survey covered a six months period and results indicate that the labour force increased slightly, 1.4%, since the last survey conducted in November 2014. The labour force now totals 208,895 persons. There was an increase in the number of employed persons and a decrease in the number of unemployed persons resulting in an unemployment rate of 12.0%, indicating a significant decline over the rate recorded last November. The three major islands; New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco all experienced decreases in their unemployment level. At the time of the survey the rate in New Providence was 12.0%; in Grand Bahama, 12.9%, and in Abaco 12.2%.
In commenting on the job loss in the general category of “Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Other Business Services”, the Hon. C.V. Hope Strachan, M.P., Minister of Financial Services, noted that her Ministry is cognizant of the extreme significance of the financial services sector to the Bahamian economy and the critical role this Ministry plays in ensuring its continued success. “*Over the next few months as we seek to regain jobs lost to the sector in recent times, and to create new employment, we will be looking towards new markets and new products – both domestic and international – and focusing more on wealth management.”* Emphasizing that the creation of new products for the industry is essential to the survival of the jurisdiction, the Minister referenced the growth in the investment funds sector resulting from the SMART Fund and ICON. She added, *“The products currently under review in my Ministry are tailored to increasing our competitiveness. We also will continue to encourage and support the significant efforts by the Insurance industry to revive captive insurance.”*