Thursday, January 24, 2019
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
MINISTER of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson has praised latest job figures which show a decline in the island’s unemployment rate and that more than 800 people were employed since May 2018 to November 2018.
Referring to statistics in the latest Labour Force Survey, Mr Thompson said the rate of unemployment dropped from 12.4 percent to 11.9 percent in that period.
He noted the island has seen 845 more people employed.
"It is the first time since 2008, a year which we commonly refer to as the modern day Great Recession, that the unemployment rate decreased below 12 percent," he said yesterday at Office of the Prime Minister in Freeport.
Mr Thompson also felt it important to highlight the number of discouraged workers also fell in GB by 9.8 percent.
He explained that discouraged workers according to the standard definition of the International Labour Organisation are people without work and available for work yet not actively seeking jobs because they are not hopeful about their prospects.
Senator Thompson said: "What we see in the figures and the decrease of discouraged workers is really a good indication that not only are more people finding employment, but more people are hopeful about finding employment in GB.
He added the survey shows there was an increase of 2,650 more people employed in Grand Bahama since May 2017, when the Minnis administration took office.
The minister of state indicated the Minnis-led administration has been focused on Grand Bahama, encouraging private sector growth, building a new tech industry, rebuilding and promoting tourism abroad, supporting the island's strong and growing industrial sector and assisting small business development.
Mr Thompson said the survey also included an overall increase in self-employed persons, noting the government has injected almost $400,000 into the economy through its small business grant programme, which has seen new businesses develop and expand.
On the topic of the Grand Lucayan resort, he stated that preserving the operations of the hotel is also critical in ensuring that the island's major tourism property is stable and ready for redevelopment.