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Gleaner Editors' Forum | STATIN targets 50,000 businesses under JSE

Published:Friday | August 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
Businesses on King Street in downtown Kingston.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is planning to capture at least 50,000 businesses in its islandwide Jamaica Survey of Establishments (JSE) now under way.

The JSE, the first of its kind in independent Jamaica, will see the data collectors targeting businesses which employ a minimum of three persons, although some, mainly service entities, which employ fewer will also be captured.

"This project is being done by STATIN as part of the Government of Jamaica Foundation for Competitiveness and Growth Project. One of the critical issues in this project is to be able to monitor businesses in Jamaica, their performance, and the impact of some of these policies that are coming out of this project," Carol Coy, director general of STATIN, told a Gleaner Editors' Forum last Thursday.

"STATIN's role is to ensure that our measurement captures all the establishments that there are," added Coy.

She said STATIN's in-house business register will be updated with the capture of the new information.

"The aim of it is to ensure that we have this frame from which we can draw samples to measure what is happening in the performance of the Jamaican economy.

"We are focusing on businesses that employ three or more persons on a continuous basis, with some exceptions for certain unique activities that are characterised by low levels of employment. Activities which are characterised by low levels of employment will still be captured if they employ fewer than three persons," said Leesha Delatie-Budhair, STATIN's deputy director general.

She said the data will be captured in mainly urban and semi-urban areas, but some entities in deep-rural communities could also be included by the 120 data collectors that are now on the job.

"The data is to facilitate the environment for private sector development. The PIOJ (Planning Institute of Jamaica) may have other uses for the data in terms of economic planning and so on, but in terms of the project that I am a part of, our role is to facilitate the strength of the business environment in Jamaica," added Delatie-Budhair.

Deputy director general of the PIOJ, Kirk Phillips, told the forum that the survey was part of an Inter-American Development Bank-funded growth project which started in 2014 and ends in 2020.

He said agencies such as the Development Bank of Jamaica and Jamaica Promotions, along with the PIOJ, have an interest to strengthen the business environment in Jamaica.

"We have different things which we have facilitated to improve the business environment, but we are really focusing on the Jamaica Survey of Establishment," said Phillips.

The data capture, which is under way, is expected to last for three months, with STATIN scheduled to release its report in the first quarter of 2019.