More people being employed per year than Eustace’s goal – PM
June 5, 2015
More people being employed per year than Eustace’s goal – PM

The goal by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace to employ 500 persons in his first year in office, if the New Democratic Party (NDP) is elected in the next general elections, is already being met by the current Government.

This is according to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves,{{more}} who at a press conference on Tuesday, said the Government has been employing an average of 525 persons per year since 2001.

“It is stated in this document in 2001 that the number of persons who were employed was 35,036 persons; an increase of 1529 persons when compared to 1991,” Gonsalves explained, referring to the 2001 housing and population census report.

“That’s 11 years. In 11 years, when they tell me that the economy was doing so well, the actual flesh and blood people who were employed, who gained employment in that period was 1529.”

In his analysis of the figures, the Prime Minister highlighted that 139 persons gained employment on average per year.

While speaking at a town hall meeting on May 31 in Brooklyn, New York, Eustace declared that within the first year of a New Democratic Party administration, 500 jobs will be created in the Information Technology sector.

Quoting from the 2012 housing and population census report, Gonsalves indicated that the number of persons employed in the country was 40,821, which is roughly 15 per cent more than the number of persons who were employed in 2001.

Furthermore, he noted that 6,300 persons gained employment in the 2001-2012 period.

“If you divide 6,300 by 12, you get 525 persons per year on average. So Arnhim Eustace wants to employ as his goal, roughly the same number that we are already employing,” Gonsalves declared.

The Minister with responsibility for this country’s finances also used statistics from the National Insurance Services (NIS) to solidify his argument.

He said while more persons were employed in the 2001-2012 period, one fifth of the labour force was unemployed in 1991, 2001 and 2012.

The Prime Minister concluded that those numbers indicate the country’s historically low absorptive capacity for labour.

“Even though the actual numbers between 2001 and 2012 increased by over 6,000, it’s because of increase in population, but more importantly the alterations internally in the population, where more persons over 60 years of age are in the labour force and employed. Under ILO (International Labour Organization) rules, up to 65, you are counted as being part of the labour force,” he said.

However, in a release issued Wednesday, the NDP said the 500 jobs it says it will create in the first year are in the information technology sector alone.

“Not five hundred jobs in every sector for the year, but five hundred jobs in the technology sector alone.

“…That is a target and a gettable target, because the conversations with those who will implement are already underway. These jobs are intended to attract our young tech savvy citizens,” the release said.

According to the release, the NDP’s statement is being deliberatly misinterpreted.

“Sometimes something sounds so good that it is deliberately misinterpreted to be downplayed. Maybe this is because, in this case the NDP will accomplish something that the outgoing ULP has failed to do in every year of its government to date — create five hundred jobs in technology.”