Where did non-Bermudian job growth come from?

The latest Employment Report data has been released for 2016 so it’s a good time to revisit job numbers to get an idea of the state and direction of employment locally.

One of the more controversial topics recently is that job growth only occurred among non-Bermudians.  This has many Bermudians up in arms but there is likely more to the story than simply comparing one number against another.  Where are the jobs being created and what are the details of the growth?  We already reviewed where this argument doesn’t tell the full story as when you account for attrition in government jobs, Bermudian job numbers did grow.  Let’s take a deeper look into the numbers to see what else they show.

Let’s start by looking at the Top 15 minor divisions of economic activity that employ non-Bermudians.

The first thing that jumps out at me about this chart is the ongoing declines in the biggest division for non-Bermudian employment: “Financial and insurance activities of IBEs”.  That’s honestly quite concerning that we’re still not adding to overall numbers of our key industry.

What does that look like when comparing Bermudian to non-Bermudian job numbers?

So, where is job growth for non-Bermudians coming from if not from international business?

Looking a bit closer

Let’s take a look at each one of these and compare Bermudian vs. non-Bermudian job growth

This chart is a bit telling.  Bermudians gained jobs while non-Bermudians lost jobs in the period from 2009-2012.  Then Bermudian jobs declined until they reached parity and we’re now seeing job growth for both, though stronger non-Bermudian job growth.

Recreational, cultural and sporting activities?  Bermudians saw a dip post 2013 while non-Bermudians have climbed.  I’m a bit curious about this one as I’m not really sure what “Recreational, cultural and sporting activities” covers, though it does seem to employ quite a few Bermudians.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many America’s Cup workers fell into this category and contributed to the significant growth but I’m honestly not sure.

Interestingly construction is one area where we see improvements in non-Bermudian job numbers while Bermudian jobs are still in decline.  Why?

Finally we see that in the Legal, accounting, market research and business and management consultancy division for the last couple years there is non-Bermudian growth while Bermudian job numbers are fairly stagnant.

Interesting.  Is it as simple as demanding that Bermudians get jobs before non-Bermudians?  Perhaps not. We can’t point the finger at international business as that is still in decline.  Restaurants are a tough industry that many Bermudians aren’t very keen on working in for the low levels of pay offered.  Legal and accounting require specialized expertise that isn’t easily replicated.  Construction leaves us with questions.  Finally, since America’s Cup is now finished, we might see a quick decline in the recreation and sporting activities division numbers next year.

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