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Jobless Total ‘Even Higher’

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

WHILE he said the Free National Movement would not question the veracity of the Department of Statistics’ latest unemployment figures, party leader Dr Hubert Minnis noted that the agency is “controlled” by a government that prides itself on “cover-ups” and “embellishments”.

The Killarney MP added that the current unemployment statistics prove once again that the government is long on rhetoric and promises and short on delivery and integrity.

He was speaking of the Progressive Liberal Party’s election campaign promise to create 10,000 jobs within its first year in office and to create an additional 40,000 employment opportunities by 2017.

Dr Minnis, in a press statement, sought to bring his party’s perspective to the department’s latest statistics released last week which revealed that the lay offs of more than 2,000 Baha Mar employees in October contributed to a 2.8 per cent increase in the country’s unemployment rate pushing the national figure to 14.8 per cent.

“The present reality for the Commonwealth is that the Christie administration has proven itself to be an appalling steward of the Bahamian economy, and by extension, the ship of state,” the press statement read. “We will not question the veracity of the statistics relative to the professionalism of the department’s statisticians. We note, rather, that the Department of Statistics is an entity controlled by a PLP government that prides itself on cover-ups and embellishments.

“As such, the Free National Movement must provide additional perspective to the broader implications of the recently revealed statistics. The comparative aspects of the statistical data purport a decrease in unemployment between November 2014 and May 2015 (from 15.7 per cent to 12 per cent),” Dr Minnis said, referring to statistics from the department earlier this year.

“We echo the admission that this decrease was due to the injection of over 7,000 phantom jobs into the economy, in the lead up to Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. As a result, this decrease in the unemployment rate was merely ephemeral. Were these phantom jobs not factored into the statistics, the unemployment rate would have remained consistently over 15 per cent during both previously referenced periods of analysis.”

He continued: “In another instance, the statistics reveal a significant decrease in the number of discouraged workers between May 2015 and November 2015. It is stated that the number of discouraged workers decreased by a whopping 30.3 per cent during the period from 3,950 to 2,750. Unfortunately, as the Bahamian economy continues to stagnate under this Christie administration, it is expected that the number of discouraged workers will increase as dramatically as it is claimed to have decreased.

“In final analysis, the current unemployment statistics prove once again that we have a government that is long on rhetoric and promises and short on delivery and integrity.

“It further proves their inability to lead a country poised for 21st century progressive thinking and development. Conversely, this government’s claim to fame is their historical affinity for producing mediocre governments and promoting blind political loyalties. In addition, this Christie administration appears quite comfortable governing through excuses, finger pointing, blame games and public relations spin doctoring while ignoring the fundamental tenets of accountability, responsiveness, consensus and transparency.”

According to statistics, a little more than 20,000 jobs were added to the economy since the PLP came to office in May of 2012.

Dr Minnis insisted that with 2017 on the horizon it was virtually impossible that the “inept” PLP government could facilitate an additional 30,000 jobs.

He said a newly elected FNM government would place an immediate laser focus on full economic empowerment.

“We will embrace an innovative programme of entrepreneurship that will allow scores of Bahamians to live out their dreams of owning jobs rather than having jobs. For those who have jobs, we will ensure that they continuously upgrade their skills through professional development and training opportunities. This will enable them to optimally perform in their current positions, and prepare them for promotional and other employment opportunities in the future.

“In the midst of these scary unemployment statistics, this PLP government is hell-bent on downplaying the full extent of our economic and unemployment woes. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Bahamian electorate to judge them according to their works or lack thereof. Nearly four full years after giving them the mandate to govern, they have failed miserably. They have been thoroughly assessed and have been found wanting. The Bahamas is in desperate need of change,” Dr Minnis said.

Comments

ohdrap4 3 years, 7 months ago

the survey is not a census. it is a survey.

the increase or decrease is relative to the last survey taken, and the numbers are standardized internationally.

the absolute jobless rate will always be higher, because the survey dos not count persons out of a job for a certain period, considering them out of the workforce. that does not mean that they would not like to be employed.

so the percentage is only correlated to the real number of unemployed, that cannot really be determined.

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

when i looked into it too our stats department considers ppl selling juice on the road side to be employed as well......... so i kinda consider the "official" numbers a low-ball estimate

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GrassRoot 3 years, 7 months ago

ok, guys how about "there are too many persons unemployed in the Bahamas, particularly young people under 25". any con-census?

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ohdrap4 3 years, 7 months ago

if you listen to the talk shows people say many school leavers will go on to attend college and should not be counted in the labor force, methods vary.

here are some explanations on wikipedia.

please note that according to the standardized rates, we are worse than jamaica or guyana.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

wow........ and yet we living in an expensive economy with the heavy (artificial) US dollar. JA money is like 117 to 1 US. guyana is like 207 to 1 US. Watch when IMF grabs the US dollar from us, and Americans start to go to Cuba instead... Food for thought....

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Leader Minnis spoken like a major cabinet player under old guard Hubert regime. WHILE he (Minnis) said the Free National Movement (former red regime) would not question the veracity of the Department of Statistics’ latest unemployment figures, party leader Dr Hubert Minnis noted that the agency is AND WAS “controlled” by a government that prides itself on “cover-ups” and “embellishments”.
Okay, did I get it correct or not?

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TruePeople 3 years, 7 months ago

hey Tal dey is all liars. Minnis should know because it takes one to know one!

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrade TruePeople to call them all liars - I wouldn't want to go that far. Comrade here's something the very smartest and most dumbest among us have known since way back to the governing days of Stafford Sands & Pindling: The official unemployment rate is always much higher than as reported by we department of vital statistics- cause they are only allowed release data as provided for under the guidelines of the of political party holing governing power.
The data they use was also misleading when Minnis' regime were in power cause it also never did truly reflect the truth about the thousands who were going without steady paychecks.
So, for Minnis to come here and make his funny face about PLP's abuse about playing down the true numbers who have no steady paychecks - is in itself equally as politically minded misleading.
In a way I guess if there is the big lie, it is in the cruelty in downplaying the hardships being experienced by the true growing numbers of the hurting people joining the ranks of the also ran out of they's steady earnings. if there really is the big lie, it does equally hurt PLP's, Red Shirts - all same when the paychecks are snatched away from thousands of workers.

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John 3 years, 7 months ago

Even if you dispute about the level of unemployment in this country, you only need talk to the common man on the street to see how much the level of hardship has increased in this country over the past several years. Even employed persons are finding it difficult to make ends meet and the middle class, many of them are living like the impoverished, only so that they can pay bills. One saying goes that no matter how difficult times get in The Bahamas or how tough things get, you would never see persons starving. They could always find a government pump to get water and stand on a street corner and bum $2.00 to get something to eat. But competition on the street corner has gotten stiffer and it has become more difficult for motorists to find that dollar bill (or that loose change) to pass out their windows. You see, relief has not yet come to the Bahamian people. Not in the form of lower unemployment (debate the figures as is your wish), lower energy bills or lower gasoline prices (and not just by a few cents). And food prices are so much through the roof that smaller households and lower income households consume more fast food rather than trying to stretch their few dollars around food store shelves. Some cooking gas tanks have been empty for years and others that were stolen were never replaced and then refilled. Family islands fare no better as you drive through some settlements any hour of the day and see all the local residents chilling g under trees and waiting for Mr. Help And MR. Hope. Maybe they are still on their way.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 7 months ago

Doctor Minnis should know all about "over ups" and "embellishments" not to mention big fat lies. because he does it so well. Remember Senator Hunt. now that was just one of his whoppers. is he saying the labour statics use to be controlled by the FNM he should be ashamed of him self. for dis respecting the civil servants hard work.

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banker 3 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for your comment birdie. Another PLP partisan digs deep for intellectual insight. Always refreshing -- never true, but always refreshing and even sometimes entertaining. Just like going to the zoo.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="PLP followers dig deep for intellectual insight.">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">PLP followers dig deep for intellectual insight. by banker

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