Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has described as ‘encouraging news’, reports that unemployment for the fourth quarter of 2018 was seven percentage points less than that of 2017.
Writing on his official Facebook page, Chastanet noted that the rate had dropped from 23.2% to 16.2%.
At the same time, he noted that overall youth Unemployment has been reduced by 2.2% from 38.5% to 36.2%.
The figures were contained in the Fourth Quarter and Annual 2018 Labour Force Survey Statistics.
Senior Communications Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nicole Mc Donald told St Lucia Times that the government remains committed to further reducing the unemployment rate here.
“While we are encouraged by the figures we have been seeing over the last two years in terms of the downturn in unemployment, we are equally encouraged that in the fourth quarter we have seen an immense downturn in the youth unemployment rate,” she stated.
She asserted that a lot of things the administration has been doing have been geared towards creating the opportunities and environment for people to get employment.
“We have had initiatives such as the Ojo Labs initiative that has seen the employment of a number of young people in the South of the Island,” Mc Donald explained.
“We believe in diversifying when it comes to employment in terms of the entire country benefitting from the economic activity that has been happening,” she told St Lucia Times.
Mc Donald pointed out that over the last two years heading into the last quarter, it has been seen that this country began to ‘turn a corner’.
“This is in direct correlation with the policies of this administration,” she asserted.
However she made it clear that the government is by no means satisfied and will continue working.
“You did hear the Prime Minister say in his New Year’s address that this will be a year of implementation,” she stated.
Mc Donald noted that there are several projects coming on stream this year including the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) redevelopment project.
She also mentioned plans to develop a cruise port in the South of the Island, the development of the agriculture sector and ensuring that there is focus on local produce to reduce Saint Lucia’s food import bill.
“There are so many things happening all at once that will benefit all sector and will do doubt result in economic activity and economic benefits for the entire country,” Mc Donald stated.