After much speculation over the years about Guyana’s seemingly high unemployment rate, the Bureau of Statistics has published Compendium Three of the 2012 Census disclosing statistics on the country’s most recent unemployment rate.In keeping with its commitment to disseminate four Compendiums in 2016, the revelation of the third Compendium has brought the Bureau closer to achieving its self-imposed deadline.The focus of this latest Compendium was the economic activity profile of the census. Economic activity focuses on the labour force component of the population profile, that is, the size and composition of the labour force, the level of employment and unemployment, types of economic activities undertaken within the economy and many other areas of interest.According to the Bureau, the findings of the 2012 Census puts Guyana’s unemployment rate at 12.5 per cent. It added that when further disaggregated by gender, the unemployment rate for males was recorded as 10.6 per cent and females at 16.7 per cent.Prior to the Census, the most recent unemployment rate was 10.7 per cent from the 2006 Household Budget Survey (HBS), an intercensal survey.Moreover, it was noted that Guyana has not executed a labour force Survey in recent times. In all instances of executing a nation-wide survey, Cabinet’s approval has to be first given and requisite funding approved and disbursed.As a consequence and as a second-best approach, labour force data has been sourced from intercensal Household Budget Surveys or Censuses since the Census of 1991.Every Census and National Survey has therefore carried an economic activity module which has allowed on-going estimates and generation of key indicators on the labour force at intermittent periods over the past 25 years.Recent media reports stating there has been no labour force data in the longest while and unemployment figures have been kept a secret are distinctly less than accurate.However, steps are now in place to change and significantly improve this current dispensation by having a quarterly labour force survey which will commence in 2017.In fact, the Bureau disclosed that its Survey Department with technical support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is currently in preparatory mode to execute this survey which as earlier indicated has not been done in Guyana, as a unique subject-matter survey for more than two decades.At this juncture, the Bureau of Statistics is asking the public to cooperate with its personnel during this exercise which will be on-going, to assist in achieving reliable and timely labour force datain the interest of planning for the development of the country’s labour force which includes all Guyanese.Back in June, the Bureau published Compendiums one and two, detailing the findings of the 2012 Census.That publication revealed that the 2012 Census highlighted a continued proportionate decline in the populations of the main ethnic groups and a compensatory increase among the Mixed-races and Amerindians\Indigenous populations. The final population count stands at “746,955”.Nevertheless, the Bureau noted “The distribution pattern of the ethnic groups has still remained unaffected since the 2002 Census with Indo-Guyanese remaining as the largest group followed by those of African Heritage, the Mixed race, the Amerindians/Indigenous peoples and the Portuguese, respectively.”According to the 2012 Population and Housing Census, “The final census count has been adjusted downwards by 929 persons from the preliminary count, a difference of 0.12 per cent. This difference is insignificant and within acceptable limits according to demographic standards.”The final Compendium which will address the remaining key topics such as education, fertility, mortality, and housing will be disseminated by the end of November, the Bureau said. Additionally, there is expected to be a table module with data from other interesting topic areas which will also be disseminated with the fourth compendium.