KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica earned more than US$700 million from its manufacturing sector last year, according to figures released here.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton said that the exports of manufactured goods increased by 14.3 per cent in 2011, totalling US$739.2 million as compared to US$$646.7 million in 2010.
Hylton said the increase is reflected in higher earnings from both traditional and non-traditional manufactured exports.
Traditional manufactured exports increased from US$97.4 million in 2010, to US$114.2 million last year, while non-traditional manufactured exports were valued at US$625 million last year, some 14.2 per cent higher than in 2010.
The National Development Plan Summary Progress Report 2009-2012 for the manufacturing sector, reveals that despite a relative decline since the 1990s, manufacturing remains the largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) among the goods producing industries in the Jamaican economy.
The report indicates that the manufacturing subsectors, which have shown growth in recent years, include the non-metallic mineral products, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, petroleum refining, chemicals, chemical products, rubber and plastic products.
In terms of production, Hylton said that real value-added for the industry grew by an estimated 1.4 per cent for 2011, due in part to higher value-added for food, beverage and tobacco; and other manufacturing components, with increases of 2.6 and 0.1 per cent, respectively.
He said that the average employment in the manufacturing industry also increased marginally in 2011, consistent with higher production levels. Average employment was 74,800 persons, compared with 74, 225 persons in 2010. The share of employment in the manufacturing industry to the total labour force was 6.8 per cent, similar to that of 2010.