Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Achieving elusive growth

Published:Wednesday | December 6, 2017 | 12:23 AM


There is broad optimism in Jamaica for the prospects of economic growth together with employment. This is understandable, as with economic growth comes an increase in standard of living, and more quality public goods such as education and health. There has been a number of policies pursued by the Government of Jamaica to achieve economic growth and which appear to be bearing fruit.

The object of any economic policy is to achieve sustained economic growth, increased employment and a controlled inflation rate. Jamaica, in this regard, has been doing well as all the macroeconomic fundamentals are heading in the right direction. This is the embodiment of an improving economy.

I was most perturbed when I heard Bank of Jamaica Governor Bryan Wynter making a pronouncement at the central bank's quarterly briefing that employment is beginning to outpace growth in the labour force. What does this mean? The marginal growth being accrued in the economy is, in fact, producing jobs 29,200 up to July 2017 to be exact; the growth in the labour force however, is lagging. This has the unfortunate potential, he said, to stifle economic growth prospects.

In anticipation of sustained economic growth in Jamaica, it would be prudent on the part of the Government to make investments in education and training for the country's human resources as, if the labour force remains as is, the prospects for sustained growth will be elusive.

It is, therefore, incumbent on the Government of Jamaica to add skill, training and education of human resources in its economic growth equation.