Mauritius saw its unemployment rate go down in the last quarter of 2013, on the back of measures taken by the government under the 2014 budget to provide increasing employment opportunities, especially to youth and women, with the aim of increasing their purchasing power and elevating their standard of living.

The unemployment rate is estimated at 7.5% for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 8.0% at the third quarter of 2013 and 7.7% at the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.

For the entire year, Statistic Mauritius expects that unemployment rate in 2013 will remain at the same level as it was in 2012, that is, 8.0%.

Meanwhile, the count of the employed population in Mauritius is expected to increase by 14,000 to 525,700 in 2013 compared to 511,700 in 2012.

Moreover, 535,300 Mauritians are estimated to be employed as at the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 526,200 in the third quarter of 2013 and 521,800 in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The 43,400 unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2013 comprised 17,500 males (40%) and 25,900 females (60%) where 16,800, or about 39% of the unemployed, were aged below 25 years.

Thus, youth unemployment continues to plague Mauritius, despite the success of the Youth Employment Program (YEP), which resulted in 4,000 youth being provided jobs in 2013.

Out of the 43,400 unemployed, some 6,800 (or 16%) had not reached the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) level or equivalent, and a further 12,600 (29%) did not have the Cambridge School Certificate (SC) or equivalent.

Furthermore, 23% had been looking for work for more than one year; 36% were looking for a first job, 14% of the unemployed were heads of households and finally, 14% lived in households with no employed persons.

Meanwhile, wages went up in the island economy, with the wage rate index for the year 2013 going up by 5.8% or 6.0 points to reach 109.9 in 2013 from 103.9 in 2012.

Also, the wage rate index for the fourth quarter 2013 increased by 0.4% or 0.4 point to reach 112.2 from 111.8 in the third quarter 2013.

Administrative activities saw the highest increase in wage rates (1.9%), followed by water and waste management activities (1.8%) and then at a distance by transportation and storage, and financial services, both seeing a 1.4% rise in wages.

Moreover, public services paid well, with the wage rate index for the general government sector increasing by 9.9% to reach 116.6 in 2013 from 106.1 in 2012. It may be noted that this sector accounts for around 32% of the total weight of the wage rate index.

Image (YEP): The unemployment rate is estimated at 7.5% for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 8.0% at the third quarter of 2013 and 7.7% at the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.

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