Thu | May 23, 2019

Jamaica can attain full employment - PM

Published:Saturday | November 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said if the economy continues on the current growth trajectory, Jamaica can attain full employment.

Speaking at a town hall meeting at Closed Harbour Beach in Montego Bay, St James, on Thursday, the prime minister said the economy continues to show a positive outlook, with unemployment at an all-time low.

In addition, the Planning Institute of Jamaica is projecting growth of 1.9 per cent for the July to September quarter.

"If the economy continues on the path that it is now set, Jamaica will be in a position where it will have a job for every single citizen who is able-bodied and can work," he said.

The prime minister said the growth figures for the quarter ending September show that the economy "is moving in the right direction".

"Last quarter (April to June), we had real gross domestic product growth of 2.2 per cent, as reported by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. Maybe we will be above, but such it is with statistics - they go up, they go down. The important thing is not the point, it is the trajectory - the point-to-point movement, and what is clear is that the Jamaican economy is moving in the right direction as measured by growth," he noted.

The prime minister welcomed the downward trend in the unemployment rate for July 2018, particularly among the youth.

He noted that there is great potential for increased job creation, and gave the undertaking that the Government will strive to ensure that everyone who is able to work can gain full employment.

"What I am particularly happy about is the employment out-turn ... . In July, we saw the lowest reported unemployment rate [at] 8.4 per cent. That means, we would have had the highest number of Jamaicans employed in the history of Jamaica; and, in particular, youth unemployment declined by 5.3 per cent to now be at 22.2 per cent. These are very encouraging figures," Prime Minister Holness said.