Categorized | Featured, National News

‘Too Early for Low Unemployment Rate Celebration’


Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell said the government should not be “popping the champagne corks just yet” after revealing that unemployment is down.

Mitchell told The Bahama Journal on Monday that statistics showing youth unemployment is still far too high and women continue to suffer in employment. 

“There’s a huge problem across the Caribbean with youth unemployment and with youth unemployment.  It looks to me about 20 percent here still, but that is significant number,” Mitchell said.

“The question is how do get the people under 25 who aren’t involved in the economy and looking for work because it appears it is still difficulty. I guess much of it has to do with training, but also has to do with opportunities in the economy.

“It still seems that women still have disadvantage in the economy, even when they are exceeding men in their levels of education.

“All of this should be warning signs to the government where they need to put the attention to trying to get additional equal opportunities for the country.”

Mitchell also addressed the hidden problem of underemployment which occurs when a person is working in a lower capacity than they are qualified for.

This typically happens to recent college graduates in the Bahamas. The Department of Statistic currently has no data on underemployment in their questionnaire.  

“To some extent this is a structural problem which has to do with small countries, limited opportunities,” he explained.

“Even in the resort sector, Bahamians hit a glass ceiling. There are jobs that they can do, but are not being offered. 

“And the other thing is there is consistent complaint is in that sector you get fired in the drop of a hat. These are two issues I think a more aggressive Department of Labour should be looking at.”

He pointed out the puzzling high unemployment rate in Abaco despite its booming economy in the Bahamas.

“The place seems to be quite busy, but this statistics are showing unemployment has risen by percentage point in Abaco since the last survey. So we’re talking to our people over there to figure out why that happened,” Mr. Mitchell revealed. 

Mitchell said the jump in employment was because of the Baha Mar project and Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar is riding on the wave of someone else who started that project. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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