Country: Jamaica Social and Economic Background of Jamaica

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Country: Jamaica

Social and Economic Background of Jamaica

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, in 2004, Jamaica had a population of 2.66 million people, 61.9% of whom were between the ages of 15 and 64. This population consisted of 833,000 females and 808,700 males. According to the World Bank, in 2002, an average of 2% of the population lived on less than US$2 per day. The 2004 PPP adjusted GDP per capita in terms of current international dollars was $3952. According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, the labor market in 2004 was marked by an increase in the employed labor force to 1,055,200 persons and a decrease in the average unemployment rate to 11.7% the population. The World Bank Doing Business Project also estimates that around 36.4% of the population was employed by the informal sector in 2004. In 2003, Jamaica received remittances of $1.2695 billion current USD according to the World Bank. The World Bank estimates that Jamaica’s M2/GDP ratio was 0.4 in 2004. In 2003, Jamaica received US$604.4 million FDI net inflow also according to the World Bank.

Within Jamaica, Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) are characterized by businesses enterprises that employ fewer than 10 persons. Micro enterprises in particular are usually sole proprietorships and owner-managed, with an asset base (excluding land and building) not exceeding US$10,000 and an annual turnover of less than US$125,000. On the other hand Small Enterprises are usually registered entities carrying an asset base of between US$10,000 and US$100,000 with an annual turnover of between US$125,000 and US$1,000,000.
MSEs have consistently remained a major source of employment in Jamaica. Data compiled by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) shows that in 2004 MSEs accounted for 34.2% of the employed labor force. Wholesaling and retailing remained the primary activities among MSEs employing 174,000 persons or approximately 18% of the labor force and 48.8 % of all MSEs.
The currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar (J$). The average exchange rate was J$48.42:US$1 in 2002, JS$57.74:US$1 in 2003 and JS$61.20:US$1 in 2004, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Jamaica does not plan to participate in the World Bank and IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP).

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