Fiji Labor Market

Up to 70 percent of Fijians are estimated to support agriculture and fisheries, mainly for housing needs. Only a few percent of the formal labor force is found in agriculture.

Around four in Fijian with formal employment work in the industry. Others are employed in the large service sector, for example in the tourism industry.

A minority of the formal employees are union members. Fijians and Indians usually have separate allies. Under the military regime of the communes, the unions were so limited by strict rules that normal union activities were virtually impossible in practice.

The official unemployment rate has been around 8–9 per cent during the 2010s, but the proportion of underemployed and extremely low paid is estimated to be considerably higher. In recent years, many jobs have been lost in the sugar and clothing industry.

  • COUNTRYAAH: List of key population facts of Fiji, covering most basic population data, religion statistics, and language profiles.

Fiji Population



4.2 percent (2019)

Youth Unemployment

14.5 percent (2019)



The sanctions are lifted

The transition to civilian government in Fiji causes Australia and the United States to lift the remaining sanctions against the country.

Fiji regains membership in PIF

The Pacific Pacific Islands Regional Cooperation Organization (PIF) votes unanimously to restore Fiji’s full membership.


Fiji re-enters the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth decides to restore Fiji’s full membership. The decision is a result of earlier elections being declared free and fair by independent observers earlier that month, and the executive power now lies in the hands of a elected, civilian government.

Bainimarama is elected prime minister

Frank Voreqe Bainimarama is elected by parliament as prime minister after his party Fiji first won the parliamentary elections earlier that month. Two days later he presents his new government, with Timoci Lesi Natuva as Minister of Defense, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as Minister of Finance and Ratu Inoke Kubuabola as Foreign Minister.

Bainimarama’s party wins the election

Fiji holds its first election since Frank Bainimarama carried out his military coup in 2006. About 590,000 voters elect 50 MEPs from seven different parties. The Election Commission states that the election is going well. Bainimarama’s party Fiji first becomes the largest with 59 percent of the vote (32 seats). The Social Liberal Sodelpa gains 28 percent (15 seats) and the National Federation Party wins 5.5 percent (3 seats). The turnout is just over 84 percent. Eight of the new members are women.


Seven parties are up for election

When the deadline expires for parties to register for participation in the fall elections, seven political parties have registered: Fiji First, the Social Liberal Party Sodelpa, National Federation Party (NFP), Fiji’s Workers’ Party (FLP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Fiji’s united Freedom Party and Ett Fiji.


Former head of government is sentenced to fines

Former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry of the Labor Party is sentenced to pay two million Fijian dollars in fines for failing to declare a fortune of 1.5 million Fijian dollars he had placed in Australia. The ruling means that Chaudhry will not be able to run for office this fall.


Bainimarama forms his own party

Fiji’s leader Frank Bainimarama announces that he has formed the political party Fiji First (Fiji First) and that it will run in the September 2014 elections.

Election date set

Fiji’s political leadership announces that parliamentary elections will be held on September 17, 2014.

New Zealand is lifting the sanctions completely

New Zealand completely cancels the sanctions it imposed on Fiji after the 2006 coup.

The Commonwealth partially lets in Fiji

The Commonwealth, which brings together the United Kingdom and former British colonies, decides that Fiji will be allowed to take part in the organization’s work again. The decision comes after an election date is set for September 2014. However, the Commonwealth emphasizes that Fiji’s Election Commission must become more independent, that respect for human rights must be improved and that fundamental freedoms, such as media freedom and organizational freedom, must be strengthened before the country can again become a full-fledged samväldesmedlem.

Former cupmakers are running for election

Former coup leader and prime minister, Major General Sitiveni Rabuka (see Modern History), announces that he will stand as an independent candidate in the September 2014 elections.

Bainimarama resigns as Chief of Defense

The coup maker and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama leaves his post as defense chief, which he had promised to do before the general elections in September 2014. Bainimarama says he, as a civilian, should concentrate on building his own political party.



New Zealand eases sanctions

New Zealand eases the sanctions against Fiji that have been in force since the military coup in 2006. The sports exchange is resumed and the entry ban lifted for relatives of less prominent figures within the Fijian leadership. New Zealand also promises increased financial support and assistance in conducting the elections in September 2014.

The regime’s constitution gets approved

President Epeli Nailatikau approves the new constitution presented by the military regime. The most important change is that the ethnically based political system is abolished (see Political system). The new constitution paves the way for general elections by September 30, 2014.


Constitutional proposals are rejected

A first proposal from the Constitutional Commission, which is commissioned to propose a new constitution, is rejected by the governing military junta. Instead, the military regime begins to write a new draft.

Fiji Labor Market