On 3 October 2012, the States Statistics Unit published its six monthly review of Jersey's labour market for the period to June 2012. Total employment in Jersey in June 2012 was 56,380, down by 530 as compared with June 2011.
In relation to levels of unemployment, as at 30 June 2012 the total number of people registered as actively seeking work ("ASW") was 1,720 - down from February 2012 when ASW numbers peaked at 1,820. While the reduction in employment showed that economic conditions remained difficult, the reduction in those registered as ASW indicated that action being taken by the States to tackle unemployment was working.
Although employment in sales, construction and finance was significantly down, it was positive to note that employment in the "private sector service industries" was up by 470 compared with the previous year. These industries are described in the report as being "predominantly businesses servicing other business and businesses servicing private households".
To access the report in full, please click here.
Much digital business falls squarely within the "private sector service industries" bracket. Digital Jersey Limited is an independent but publicly funded organisation set up in 2012. According to businesslife.co (06/07/2012) it aims:
"…to represent all digital industries in Jersey and to promote the Island externally as a centre for digital business. The digital sector includes areas such as e-commerce, information and communications technology (ICT) services and data hosting. The organisation’s ultimate aim will be to create additional employment opportunities in this sector for local people."
It is hoped that Digital Jersey will open up new business avenues, by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship and ensuring that Jersey's school children receive an IT education which is fit for purpose.
To learn more about Digital Jersey, please click here.
Since the publication of the June 2012 labour market report, the ASW reports for October and November 2012 have been published. These indicate that while unemployment remains high, again reaching 1,820 in November 2012, the number of people registered as long term ASW is continuing to decline. The December 2012 Business Tendency Survey, published on 23 January 2013, reiterated the significant challenges faced by businesses in Jersey at this time but noted some optimism in the finance sector.