How many people work in the Caribbean Netherlands?
In 2020, the size of Bonaire’s working age population (all persons aged 15 to 74 years) was slightly under 16.5 thousand, of whom 69.8 percent were in employment. On St Eustatius, 71.0 percent of the working age population were in work and on Saba 73.4 percent of the 1.5 thousand.
|Island||Net labour participation rate|
|Bonaire||15-24 yrs, Bonaire||42.7|
|Bonaire||25-44 yrs, Bonaire||86.0|
|Bonaire||45-74 yrs, Bonaire||64.6|
|St Eustatius||Total, St Eustatius||71.0|
|St Eustatius||15-24 yrs, St Eustatius||31.9|
|St Eustatius||25-44 yrs, St Eustatius||87.4|
|St Eustatius||45-74 yrs, St Eustatius||68.7|
|Saba||15-24 yrs, Saba||41.7|
|Saba||25-44 yrs, Saba||87.0|
|Saba||45-74 yrs, Saba||69.8|
On all three islands, labour force participation was relatively low among young people (15 to 24 years). The share in work on Bonaire was 42.7 percent, on St Eustatius 31.9 percent and on Saba 41.7 percent. Participation was highest among people aged 25 to 44 years. In the oldest age group, over 60 percent were in employment.
The majority of the working age population on Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba were not born on these islands. Instead, they were born on Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten or in another country in Middle or South America. Fifteen percent of the workers on Bonaire were born in the European Netherlands.
|Other countries in Middle and South America||Bonaire||Aruba, Curaçao, St Maarten||Netherlands||St Eustatius||Asia||Saba||Europe (excl. the Netherlands)||North America||Africa and Oceania||Unknown|
Low unemployment rate Saba
Bonaire’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in 2020. This is equivalent to almost 550 unemployed who were seeking work and available. St Eustatius’ unemployment rate was 2.3 percent, equivalent to 40 unemployed. At just over 3 percent, Saba’s unemployment rate was relatively low.
Unavailable or not looking for work
Bonaire has by far the largest working age population. Just over 4.4 thousand of them were not part of the local labour force: they were either not looking for work or not available. In most cases, they were neither of the two. A large group (33 percent) were unwilling or unable to work due to old age or retirement. For 20 percent of those outside the labour force – young residents in particular – education was the predominant reason why they were not looking or unavailable for work. Other, smaller, groups included people unable to work due to a disability or poor health (11 percent), or because they had to take care of their families (9 percent).
The overall picture on the other two islands is similar to the situation on Bonaire.
|Not available or not seeking work||.|
|Available but not seeking work||510|
|Seeking work but not available||100|
|Neither available nor seeking work||.|
|Willing to work||250|
|Not willing/able to work due to||.|
|Retirement or old age||1460|
|Illness, disability, poor health||480|
|Care for family etc.||380|
More information about labour force participation in the Caribbean Netherlands