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Job losses – if no pickup

marciadottin, [email protected]

Job losses –  if no pickup

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More jobs could be lost if there is no solid turnaround in the global recession.That is the forecast of the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr DeLisle Worrell.“Because the recession is lasting such a long time, it becomes more and more difficult for firms to hang on to the jobs,” he told a Press conference called to discuss the state of the economy yesterday at the Central Bank.He described the understanding between members of the social partnership on preserving jobs as “excellent” and their quest to achieve it as “remarkable”.Nonetheless, if global financial economic turbulence did not calm, more job losses could ensue, he said.“Inevitably, the longer and longer the recession lasts, the more and more firms run out of cash and they can’t hold on any longer. It is because we can’t actually say that the recession will end in three months’ time, in six months’ time . . . I can’t really give you a definitive answer to what will happen to unemployment,” Worrell said.Unemployment for the first three months of 2010 increased 0.5 per cent, to 10.6 per cent compared to 10.1 per cent recorded at the end of the first quarter of 2009, but the island’s lead economist was still optimistic of a trade-off between an uptick in construction and persistent depression in other parts of the economy during the latter half of this year.“If construction comes back, we may get sufficient increase in construction jobs, particularly on the major projects to compensate for some of the losses that we may experience in the retail and other sectors . . . So long as the recession continues, I think that we will have some increases in unemployment. Hopefully, it will be very marginal and hopefully it won’t go on too long,” Worrell said. (SR)