Categorized | National News

Workforce Disparity Concerns Gov’t

The latest unemployment figures still showing a gap between the number of men versus women employed in the country, as research revealed that the jobless rate for women is at 9.9 percent compared to 9.2 percent for men. 

Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes acknowledged yesterday that this is cause for concern, adding that he and the minister of finance are analyzing the numbers to determine why this is the case. 

“We are concerned about the disparity in the unemployment between men and women and both myself and the minister of finance, we are analyzing that to find out why that is so,” Mr. Foulkes said. 

“Anecdotally, it may relate to the construction industry where we have a very vibrant industry and that industry tends to attract more men than women. I don’t know whether that is the answer, but that is something that we are looking at.”

As the overall employment rate went up, there is the added encouragement that the number of discouraged workers went down. On the other hand, the minister of labour said he is extremely pleased with the May 2019 Labour Force Survey, as he said there was a significant decrease in the six month period November 2018 to May 2019. 

“In addition to the unemployment rate decreasing, the question of discouraged workers also went down and as I said, six months ago, in addition to looking at the raw data for the unemployment rate, you must also look at the discouraged workers rate,” he said. 

Mr. Foulkes added that this decrease is encouraging as it means more Bahamians are searching and finding employment.

“Both in Grand Bahama, in the Freeport area, and in New Providence there was a decrease in the amount of discouraged workers which means that more people who are unemployed are out in the marketplace looking for work and feel encouraged that they can find jobs which substantially affects the unemployment rate,” Mr. Foulkes said. 

“To have both of them go down at the same time is extremely significant. So, obviously we are on the right track. 

“We think the economy is very stable and given all of the economic projects that are on the drawing board, we feel that we are doing a good job.”

Discouraged workers fell by two percent compared to the Labour Force Survey of November 2018 that saw 2,030 discouraged workers when compared to May 2019 with 1,990 discouraged workers across the country.   

Written by Jones Bahamas

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