The Isle of Man’s population and the number of people in work continued to grow during the third quarter of 2017, according to the latest economic report to the Council of Ministers.
The publication, produced by the Economic Affairs Unit of the Cabinet Office, says the Island is ‘performing well’, with prospects of further expansion across a number of sectors.
At a time of uncertainty in the UK and Europe over the impact of Brexit, the quality and diversity of the Manx economy is providing resilience, as well as new opportunities for workers.
The report states:
‘The outlook is positive with large numbers of vacancies and changes to work permits designed to increase the number of economically active people. The challenge is still for Government to identify and target the skilled workforce we need and to get them here before the jobs go elsewhere.’
Statistics point to strong jobs growth in the finance sector, with local banks recruiting for up to 100 new positions. The Island’s leading e-businesses are also taking on additional staff, while employment in the insurance industry is at its highest level for the past three years.
In addition, the unemployment rate in the construction sector is at an historic low, with just 40 people currently registered as out of work.
The report highlights ‘a healthy and growing list of inward investment leads’ for the manufacturing and engineering industry, with the proposed Airport Technology Gateway project aimed at generating significant new business and jobs.
However, the report warns that the shortage of skilled workers in certain sectors could stifle business growth. There is also concern that the first increase in interest rates by the Bank of England in 10 years could place further pressure on some households.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said:
‘Our commitment in the Programme for Government is to create an Island of enterprise and opportunity where our people and businesses can continue to flourish. We currently have 500 more people in employment than at the same time last year and have relaxed work permit restrictions to give our employers access to the skilled workers they need to grow.’
‘We are focused on developing our economy, increasing our economically active population and encouraging a skilled workforce to relocate to the Isle of Man. The latest economic report to the Council of Ministers confirms that the Island is moving in the right direction.’