(SNO) — Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has expressed satisfaction with the latest statistics on the country’s unemployment rate.
Writing on Facebook, Chastanet said unemployment for the fourth quarter of 2018 was “7 percentage points less than that of 2017, dropping from 23.2% to 16.2%”.
Overall youth unemployment has been “reduced by 2.2%, from 38.5% to 36.2%,” Chastanet also disclosed.
“Some encouraging news,” he said.
Labour Minister Stephenson King also shared a similar message via Facebook.
Under the heading “More Citizens Now Working”, King said he is “heartened” by the news of the decline in the unemployment rate.
He said official statistics show that overall unemployment declined to “16.2% from 23%”, and “youth unemployment, from 41% to 36%”.
“This is only the start!” said King, who is also the minister for infrastructure, ports and energy.
The former prime minister credited the results directly to the policies of his United Workers Party (UWP) government. But he said the government is still not satisfied because they want more people to get employment.
“We want to put more people to work, this is why we will continue to support innovations like Ojo Labs and others who have employed a significant number of youths in recent months,” he said.
King said with construction “activity poised to boom” in the coming months, the government expects more people to get jobs, “further reducing the unemployment figures”.
He threw a jab at the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party’s public meeting held last Thursday night on the Castries market steps.
“We are working and the results continue to show.?? (Bet they didn`t tell their Market Steps followers last night. The dismal turnout indicates even more of their once supporters are now hard at work ?).”
The Castries North parliamentary representative concluded: “Congratulations to the people now employed, continue to do your best. To those searching for work; keep your head up and stay positive, your blessing is coming soon. It’s not a time to be idle and or complain – shoulders to the wheel, let’s work!”