Who are the workers on Aruba?

Who are the workers on Aruba? Persons aged 15 to 64 years constitute the population of working age. In 1960, almost 30.000 persons of working age lived on Aruba. In accordance with the growth of the population of Aruba in the last 50 years, the number of persons belonging to the population of working age more than doubled to almost 70.000 persons in 2010. According to recent population projections, in 2030, this number will have risen to almost 83.000.

When viewing the persons of working age as a percentage of the total population of Aruba, an increase can be observed between 1960 and 1981, followed by a leveling out and a slight decrease in the following years.

How many of these individuals actually participate in the labor market? Between 1960 and 2010, the labor participation rate in Aruba has known a steady increase. Compared to other countries in the region and beyond, the participation rate of Aruba is relatively good.

This increase has everything to do with a huge increase in the participation rate of females. In 2010, 60.5% of females 15 years and older participated in the labor market, compared to only 27.4% in 1960.

Employment and unemployment

Employment and unemployment is inherently related to the economic situation in a country. In times of economic crisis, the employment rate decreases and the unemployment rate increases. In 50 years, a number of developments have influenced the economic situation of Aruba, which is well reflected in the employment and unemployment figures.

Over the years, the arrival and departure of labor migrants has closely followed the ups and downs of the Aruban economy. As such, in times of economic growth and an expanding labor market, the employed population is increasingly constituted of foreign-born persons.

Not only the composition of the population of working age has changed over time, but also the sectors in which these persons were employed. In 1960, the LAGO refinery dominated the economic arena, employing one third of all employed individuals, the government being the second largest employer. When the LAGO closed its doors in 1985, the tourism industry took over. New hotels were built and existing hotels expanded their capacity, leading to a growing need of, among others, construction workers and workers in the tourism industry. In 2010, the tourism sector employed 17.4% of males and 23.7% of females of working age.