How to look for work in Kingston


Jobs are scarce in Jamaica. Unemployment in April 2015 was 13.2%; this is 172,000 persons looking for work (STATIN data). Nevertheless, the rate is still the lowest for the past ten quarters (or going back to July 2012). Participation rate (%) generally is in the 60s, reflecting two out of five members of the workforce quit searching for jobs. Finding work is harder for the under 24-year old and women than for other members of the workforce.

Job Search in Jamaica

Check in the classified of newspapers as well as through the embassies and other traditional places for job search are recommended for expatriates to find work in Jamaica.

Finding work in Jamaica is difficult for the expatriate, but easier for those who are high skilled - e.g. chemical engineers, surgeons and experts in artificial intelligence. Some resources you can use for finding work in Jamaica include

  • postings on LinkedIn;
  • the jobs section on the website of The Gleaner - a Jamaican periodical;
  • talk to friends, alumni, colleagues and other contacts in your network) to find leads for who is hiring or to get recommendations/ references;
  • search postings for Jamaica by UN agencies, international companies and Foreign Missions, embassies or consulates from your country

Work Permits in Jamaica

Conditions apply in the process of obtaining a work permit for the foreigner who is visiting. Non-nationals need a work permit from the Ministry of Labour & Social Security (MLSS), and if granted, must take their passport to PICA to be endorsed. Ideally, the work permit should be obtained before travelling to Jamaica. The application for the work permit is made by the prospective employer, contractor or lawyer of the applicant. If the person is an investor or visiting regarding a prospective investment, Jampro - the government's investor facilitation service, can facilitate the application.

Exemption from the work permit requirement is allowed if an expatriate is married to a Jamaican citizen; or if the person is classified as a ‘skilled person' from a CARICOM country.

Requirements for the work permit application include showing in a cover letter that reasonable steps were taken to fill the vacancy locally, and that the applicant is not wanted by the police in their country of origin. These requirements, the fees and process are formally set out by the MLSS and can be viewed on their website.

Ministry of Labour & Social Security
1F North Street, Kingston
Tel.:1 (876) 922-9500-14
Fax: 1 (876) 922-6902

Checks in the classified of newspapers as well as through the embassies and other traditional places for job search are recommended for expatriates to find work in Jamaica.

Update 13/02/2016


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