1,143 Caymanians Out Of Work As Caymanian Unemployment Regresses To March 2022 Economy Reopening Levels

April 26, 2024by editor

April 26, 2024

Video Statement Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q72N3RpgRSQ&t=1s

The Economics & Statistics Office recently released various reports giving the September 2023 numbers for Labour and the Economy. These reports provide a useful reference for spotting negative or positive trends in the labour market and the country’s economy.

As we always do, the Progressives examine the ESO’s numbers and explain to the public what they actually show beyond this government’s press releases. Certainly, in terms of the recently released September 2023 Labour Force Survey, there are things to be concerned about.

To start, the rise in overall unemployment rates, which jumped from 2.1% in September 2022 to 3.3% in September 2023, is a concern.

Especially concerning are the Cayman unemployment numbers, which show a marked increase from 3.6% to 5%. This represents 1,143 Caymanians out of work in September last year.

Almost exactly the same as the 1,140 Caymanians unemployed in the March 2022 survey when the economy was recovering from lockdown.
Disappointingly, therefore, eighteen months after the economy reopened, Caymanian unemployment is back to where we started.

I have said over three years that this Government, whether you call it the PACT or UPM, has lacked a coherent strategy for sustainable growth and jobs for Caymanians. You certainly will not find any tangible or meaningful strategy for economic and jobs growth in the government’s own recently released Strategic Priorities report.

The consequences of the lack of action from this government are clear: rising unemployment, a cost of living crisis, and falling living standards.

No wonder so many Caymanians feel worse off after three years of this government. The high underemployment numbers that we highlighted last year have come down. Until we know more, I note this point with some caution. This could mean Caymanians are getting the work hours they were looking for, but it could also mean that Caymanians working part-time are being put out of work as businesses struggle to stay open by shedding part-time jobs.

It will concern all of us that Caymanian unemployment is increasing and returning to the levels we had as the economy was opening up after the pandemic. It certainly does concern the Opposition that small businesses continue to struggle in the PACT/UPM economy.

We need the government to focus its time and energy on providing the country with a thoughtful strategy to grow the economy and create jobs that benefit Caymanians, not waste time papering over its own internal divisions.

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