Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Growth & Jobs | 1.3 million Jamaicans have jobs - Clarke

Published:Monday | January 7, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Dr Nigel Clarke (left), Minister of Finance and Public Service, shares light-hearted conversation with Eric Hosin, chief executive officer, Guardian Life, during the Guardian Life Blast Off held at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Friday, January 4.

As of Monday, January 7, an estimated 1.3 million Jamaicans should have reported for work in various industries across the island.

The announcement was made by Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, in his remarks at the Guardian Life Limited's 'Staff Blast Off' held on January 4 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.

Clarke said that in spite of the negative perception persons might have about the nation's economy, the island was currently in a good place, with record-high employment levels, resulting in more Jamaicans earning an income than ever before.

"We are in a good place as we stand right now. On Monday morning, more people should have gone to work than at any other time in Jamaica's history. Over 1.3 million Jamaicans should be planning to get up on Monday and go to paying jobs, " he said.

Clarke explained that after a long period of lack of investment on the island, a lot of production had returned to Jamaica, and a number of companies were currently being established and taking risks in Jamaica like they hadn't in the last 20 years.

He stated that over the last five years, Jamaica had the highest returns of any stock market in the world, making it the best-performing equity market over that period.

"There are over 200 countries in the world, with maybe half or more of these countries with stock exchanges, and yet, Jamaica was the best-performing equity market over the last five years of all countries in the world," Clarke said.

 

NEW-FOUND DYNAMIC

 

He noted that as a result, the renowned financial publication and research firm Bloomberg sent a team of reporters to Jamaica at the end of 2018 to investigate the source of this dynamism.

In closing, Clarke commended Guardian Life on its 20th anniversary and gave a charge to the company to keep on taking care of the health and financial needs of Jamaicans.

The Blast Off is an event hosted by Guardian Life Limited for the over 600 Guardian Life representatives across the island at the beginning of each year to review the previous year's performance and to set a positive theme for the year ahead.