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21 November 2017

Saint Lucia’s unemployment rate decreases

Saint Lucia’s Director of Statistics, Edwin St Catherine, has announced a fall in the nation’s unemployment rate for the third quarter of 2017.

St Catherine said that at 16.8 percent, this is an improvement in the unemployment rate of 20 percent in the same quarter of last year.

Nevertheless he said there was no ‘statistically significant’ change in the youth unemployment rate between the 3rd quarter of 2016 and the 3rd quarter of 2017.

According to St Catherine, the story about the drop in unemployment is mostly one about persons aged 30 and over.

“We think much of these additional jobs were created in the accommodation and food services sector or the hotel sector, and we also think that there was more employment available in the construction sector,” the Director of Statistics disclosed.

However he explained that to some extent, it is believed that the additional jobs are ‘vulnerable’ ones, since they have not fully taken root in the private sector which is responsible for driving most of the employment that is created..

St Catherine observed that the public sector is less than 10 percent of the economy whereas the private sector is the bulk of the economy.

He stated that as a result, any meaningful impact on employment conditions is created when the private sector generates those additional jobs.

St Catherine said there was was greater participation in the labour market by more people, which often happens when there is a sustained turnaround in the labour market.

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