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St Lucia unemployment at 24.9 per cent

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

St Lucia unemployment at 24.9 per cent

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CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – St Lucia has recorded an increase in unemployment, according to figures released here by the Department of Statistics.
These figures indicate that at the end of the third quarter last year, the unemployment figure had risen by more than one per cent to 24.9 per cent.
Director of Statistics Edward St Catherine said that the two-year survey showed that 17 000 people were out of jobs.
“The unemployment situation really continues to be a challenge for St Lucia, with the rate recently published being 24.9 per cent, so in the third quarter relative to the second, there has been an increase.
“The thing about unemployment statistics is that you can always tell when it is high, anything about 20 per cent is a high rate and it is of obvious concern to policy makers,” St Catherine said.
The unemployment figures come at a time when the Kenny Anthony government has outlined various initiatives to stimulate growth in the economy and generate jobs.
During the campaign for the 2011 general election, the then opposition St Lucia Labour Party promised to increase employment through initiatives such as the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) and the Short Term Employment Programme (STEP).