April 9, 2010
Labour survey and census coming

A soon to come labour force survey is expected to prepare stakeholders and the general public for next year’s census.

The survey, which is scheduled to commence in mid April, with its findings to be released sometime in September, is expected to indicate the number of persons who are employed and employable in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Chief Statistician Gatlin Roberts speaking to SEARCHLIGHT said that the survey is being done in conjunction with Dominica and Grenada as part of an Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) initiative.

According to Roberts, the survey, when completed, will assist the statistics office in its preparation for the general census, which takes place next year.

“Because we would have done a listing for the labour force survey, we would have no need to do that again for the census, thus saving some time in the process.”

Roberts indicated that a census is usually a very time consuming and costly exercise, and any way that the process could be shortened would be welcomed.

However, she noted that the accuracy of the information gathered would not be compromised in the quest for a shorter time frame.

Also an asset to the preparation for the census is the fact that a number of the questions used in the survey will return on the census questionnaires, when census takers take to the field in April next year.

The digitizing of maps as well as the bar coding of questionnaires along with infield editing will also help the census process.

Roberts is of the hope that there would be more technological advancements when the next census takes place in the next eleven years.

A census usually takes place in countries every ten years; with most countries conducting theirs during the ‘00 year.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines it is done during the 01 year; a practice Roberts stated, has been in place since 1991.

Following its completion in June 2011, and the release of preliminary reports, a full report is expected to be available in early 2012.

The information, which will contain demographic information on the population is expected to be a very important planning tool which Roberts said would provide a framework for rapid and accurate development on the country.

“A properly prepared census can help in the development of infrastructure, social services, recreational facilities and health services.”

“The business sector can also make use of the information derived from a census,” Roberts indicated. “But this is hardly done here.”

As with the census, Roberts indicated the information gathered will be treated with the utmost privacy, and urged that Vincentians co-operate with the field workers and give as accurate information as possible in an effort to gather correct information.(JJ)