2018 Labour Force Survey Press Release

St. John’s, Antigua, Thursday, 29 October 2020. The Statistics Division under the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance releases the 2018 Labour Force Survey (LFS) Report.


In October 2018, the labour force in Antigua and Barbuda stood at 51,931 where in absolute numbers, more women than men were in the labour force: 27,406 compared to 24,525; more women (24,701) were employed than men (22,728). The labour force is comprised of persons aged 15 years and older who were either employed or unemployed (i.e. did not have a job, but were available for work and were seeking work) at the time of the survey.

The employment-to population ratio was higher for men (70.5%) than for women (62.1%) and the total employment-to-population ratio was 65.9%. Employment-to-Population ratio was lowest among youths (15 to 24 years) and seniors (65 years and older) and highest for persons in the 45 to 54 age group.  Additionally, this ratio is higher for men than women across all age groups.

Approximately one out of four (22.9%) of the employed population worked as Service and sales workers.  There were significant differences between the most common occupations of female and male workers. A little less than one out of three (31.2%) of women worked as Service and sales workers, while for men about one out of five (21.5%) worked as Craft and related trades workers.

Labour Force Participation

In October 2018, the working age population (15 years and older) in Antigua was 71,993 persons.  Of the working age population, over seven out of ten (72.1%) participated in the labour force. This was a 1.2 percentage point increase when compared to September 2015 (70.9%). The highest labour force participation rate observed in October 2018 was in St. Peter, 74.4%; the lowest in St. Paul, 67.0%.

Men were more likely to participate in the labour force compared to women. The labour force participation rate for men was 76.1%, while for women it was 68.9%

Persons who did not participate in the labour force are either retired, 42.7%; studying, 33.5%; have family reasons, 7.8%; or for other reasons, 16.1%.


The overall unemployment rate for the period was 8.7%; a decrease of 5.0 percentage points compared to September 2015.  In absolute numbers, 4,502 persons were unemployed of which 2,705 were women and 1,797 were men.

Although men were more likely to participate in the labour force, women were more likely to be unemployed than men across all age groups, except for seniors and those in the 40 – 44 age group where the unemployment rate for women was 7.3% compared to 8.3% for men. This means that a larger proportion of women in the labour force were without a job, available for work and seeking employment. In 2018, the female unemployment rate was 9.9%, compared with 7.3% for men.

It was also revealed that youth unemployment rate was 25.7% which is more than triple the overall unemployment rate.  The youth unemployment rate decreased 8.2 percentage points compared to 2015.

The survey further revealed that unemployment was less prevalent among those with higher educational attainment.  Persons with a University education had the second lowest unemployment rate 3.3%.  Interestingly, persons with complete Post-secondary education below university degree had the lowest rate, 2.9%. In contrast, the unemployment rate for persons with Primary education or less was 10.4%.

– END –


The survey was based on a three stage random sample of 1,450 households throughout Antigua. The data was collected through face-to- face interviews with members (or a member) of the sampled households. Please note that Barbuda was not enumerated in this survey because of the displaced population due to the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017. The information derived from the LFS can be used to produce socio-economic data which are vital tools in enhancing the country’s ability to properly plan and monitor development of its people, achieve national objectives and fulfill regional obligations. The analysed data from the LFS allows for informed decision-making and policy formulation that can impact the labour market.

2018 Labour Force Survey Publication:

2018 Antigua and  Barbuda LFS Report