THE EDITOR, Sir:
According to latest STATIN data, Jamaica has an unemployment rate of 12.8 per cent. This would suggest that 87.2 per cent of Jamaicans are gainfully employed or not looking for work. This is either a fairy tale or a big joke.
STATIN has a very complicated way of calculating unemployment rate, which excludes people who have given up on finding a job, people who do odd jobs every now and then, and people who may have worked only a few days during the survey period. This method is severely flawed.
A man who works one month on a construction site and spends the next six months waiting for another job to come up can hardly be called 'employed'.
A tour of any inner city or rural village square at 10 a.m. will reveal hundreds of thousands of idle Jamaicans. They spend the entire day sitting around - women doing their hair and chatting; young men kneading weed in their palm with nothing to do all day.
Earlier this year, the Department of Correctional Services sought to recruit 350 wardens. Thousands of young men and women swarmed the compound, some not even making it through the gate for the size of the crowd.
If STATIN wants to know the real unemployment rate, it should have two people start a big argument or fight in every town square and have its team count the thousands of idle Jamaicans who appear from nowhere with nothing better to do.