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Pm Predicts Jobless Rate Will Fall To 6% By End Of 2021

PRIME Minister Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Hubert Minnis.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday predicted the national unemployment rate will drop to six percent or less by the end of 2021.

Dr Minnis made the prediction while speaking to reporters about the reactions he received from residents in Abaco and Grand Bahama on his recent announcements concerning projects for the two islands.

“I think both Grand Bahama and Abaco and the Bahamas at large are very happy with the announcements,” he said when asked about the responses he’s received thus far.

“…Of course, you know the devastation we have experienced and any type of ventures or developments (that) will help to redevelop those areas that have been devastated and to create employment with what we see on the ground in both Abaco and Grand Bahama and what is happening in terms of rebuilding, I think our unemployment rate would come down dramatically.

“No politicians like to make such statements, but I can make a bold statement and state that I think by the end of 2021, unemployment rate, I’m certain will be around six percent if not less.”

Last August, labour force officials revealed that the national unemployment had decreased from 10.7 percent in November 2018 to 9.5 percent, showing an overall improvement.

The statistics were gathered from 3,500 people in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco.

At the time of the survey, the rate in New Providence was 9.4 percent and Grand Bahama was 10.9 percent. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Abaco was 9.3, a 1.6 increase from 7.7 percent in 2018.

Despite Abaco’s unemployment increase, both New Providence and Grand Bahama showed unemployment decreases down from the previous 11 percent and 11.9 percent respectively.

However, after Hurricane Dorian ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September 2019, destroying many homes and businesses, thousands of the residents have been forced to relocate elsewhere in search of working opportunities.

In December, while refuting an international report that suggested unemployment on Grand Bahama was nearly 50 percent in the aftermath of the deadly storm, the Ministry of Finance said it was advised by the National Insurance Board (NIB) that between September and November of 2019, it received 888 applications for unemployment benefits from Grand Bahama.

The statement noted while the 888 applications for unemployment benefits did indicate an upward move in unemployment given the devastation of Dorian, it did not signal a spike in unemployment equal to 16,000 persons – which would represent an unemployment rate of 50 percent in Grand Bahama.

In December, Department of Statistics officials said they would not conduct its annual Labour Force Survey on Abaco and Grand Bahama in 2010 due to Hurricane Dorian. The survey was set for November 2019, but was delayed due to the storm.

Since the passage of Dorian, the government has paid out nearly $2m in unemployment benefits to hurricane victims in Grand Bahama.

“Unemployment assistance, through the National Insurance Board, provided help to those employees, affected by the temporary closure of businesses after the storm,” Dr Minnis said in his first national address for 2020 earlier this week. “Over $1.7m in these benefits, has been paid to Grand Bahamians.”

It is still not clear how much unemployment benefits have been paid to storm victims in Abaco.

However, speaking at yesterday’s heads of agreement signing for a $300 million marina in Abaco, Dr Minnis said the new project will allow for 600 jobs to be created on the island during and post-construction.

“It is anticipated that 600 workers will be employed during the construction phase of the project. … during the projects operational phase, the development expects to employ 600 workers.”

Comments

mandela 4 days, 12 hours ago

2020 5000 kids coming out of school, 2021 5000 kids coming out of school, 2020 600 new jobs, 2021, hotel in freeport let say 1000 jobs, no, no, no, the figures don't add up, sorry but that's impossible for in 2021 the unemployment will be at 6%, to me that's like saying we will sell Bar Mar when you don't even own the property.

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licks2 16 hours, 4 minutes ago

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. . .DO YOU THINK THAT EVERYTHING WILL REMAIN CONSTANT DURING THIS PERIOD? Do you ever wonder why if we have 5000 people coming out of school for the last 3 years and no jobs were created (according to your reasoning skills). . .where them 15,000 peoples dem gone?

Use ya head when ya try to reasoning with "big peoples dem". . .nonsense makes no sense!! You don't even know the per-unit need for jobs and you ger run ya mouth about it cant work!! Child please!!!

Don't get me wrong there bee. . .Doc throw out a tall order there buoy. . .but, just jumping up and saying it can happen or can't is foolish!! Yoon know!! My statistic proff used to row we out to hell for making dumb statements dem like that without the relevant information!!!

We used to used a statement like "all things being equal". . .then the likely out come may be such and such!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 days, 1 hour ago

Minnis is a pathological liar who will now say anything in the hope of voters continuing to support his stupidity, incompetence and, yes, corruptness. This arrogant and nasty buffoon has unequivocally proven he doesn't have the slightest idea about how to form and lead a government cabinet made up of individuals who are capable of governing the Bahamas in the best interests of the Bahamian people.

Minnis has quite deservedly lost the respect and backing of the vast majority of Bahamian voters. He has done to the FNM party what Christie did to the PLP. These two corrupt politicians have left the vast majority of Bahamians holding the proverbial empty bag with future generations destined to the worst kind of slavery, i.e. debt bondage. It's more important than ever that voters next time around cast their vote for the independent candidate known not to have any close ties or baggage relating to the PLP, FNM or DNA.

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licks2 16 hours ago

I wonder if he lost his "juice" why you been spending the last 3 and 1/2 years "trynna" convince us of that fact?? All you have to do is show we the evidence and go sit down in ya corner. . .

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sheeprunner12 2 days, 22 hours ago

In 50% of the Out Islands that account for 70% of the land of the country, there is little or no economic activity to brag about now (Cat Island, Rum Cay, Andros, Eleuthera (mainland), Long Island, Ragged Island, Crooked Island, Acklins, Mayaguana, Long Cay) …… a few islands have fairly reliable but "one company town" economies that may keep those islands afloat, but tenuous for long-term growth (Inagua, Bimini, The Berries, Exuma, Harbour Island,& San Salvador) ……… Spanish Wells, Grand Bahama & Abaco are in serious flux ……… New Providence has absorbed 100,000 Out Islanders since 1970 ………… No Government has dealt with this outmigration problem since Independence ……… Minnis has not come up with a real plan to solve it yet …………. The country cannot grow when 75% of the citizens live on ONE rock.

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licks2 15 hours, 52 minutes ago

Here is our problem. . ."MINNIS HAS NOT COME UP WITH A REAL PLAN". . .the Bahamian is usually mentally "twist-up". . .we like too much slackness. . .that's why Minnis dem can make fools of us every five years!! Government is working on giving us land in out islands so we can go back to those various communities and develop them! But after we get dem "lans". . .we then proceed to "why dis gobmer don't go gee we money to clean dem lans they gee us". . .on and on and on!!!

Excuses after excuses. Maybe our "big shoes to fill" is our fear (colonialization) in our national mind set. . .we are cowards in out collective efficacy and as a result we have become a perfect picture of cognitive dissonance. . .inversion of our self-deprecation. . .we run our mouths so that our audiences may perceive us as "not morons" . . .but smart and wise ones!!

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