In a statement this afternoon, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mark Golding saays his party is concerned that growth remains anaemic, and some 736,000 persons remain outside of the labour force, including over 250,000 discouraged persons who have given up looking for work. We also note that overall youth unemployment was measured at 19.5%, and female youth unemployment remains significantly higher at 25%.
Golding said “While unemployment has continued to fall, aggregate demand remains weak because much of the labour force is earning low wages, failing to drive growth and inflation to levels targeted by the Government.
Jamaica’s low-wage economy flows from under-investment in the Nation’s human capital, falling productivity, and low valued-added jobs.
This negative spiral will only be reversed by uplifting the productive capacity of our people. Greater and more effective investment in education and training, supported by research and development in science and technology, are essential if Jamaica is to rise and achieve sustainable and inclusive national development.”
A contributing factor is also the prevalence of the pernicious contract work system which deprives many workers of basic benefits, itself facilitated by the State’s weak enforcement of hard-won rights enshrined in our labour laws since the 1970s.”
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