- Between July 2013 and July 2015, the employed labour force increased by 39,600...and over the last four years... between October 2011 and July 2015, a total of 63,900 jobs have been added,” he informed
- The IMF Staff Mission, headed by Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, which conducted the review over the past week, concluded that the Economic Reform Programme’s (ERP) implementation remains “strong.” All quantitative targets and structural benchmarks for the quarter were met
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the administration is projecting the possible creation of over 100,000 jobs within the next five years.
“This conservative estimate is based on the progress that has been seen thus far,” the Minister said.
Dr. Phillips was speaking at the 10th International Monetary Fund (IMF) quarterly review press conference, covering the July to September period, at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, on Friday, November 13.
“Between July 2013 and July 2015, the employed labour force increased by 39,600…and over the last four years… between October 2011 and July 2015, a total of 63,900 jobs have been added,” he informed.
Of significance, the Minister added, was the increase in the employed labour force between April to July of this year by 18,400, with the number of young people, aged 20 to 24, increasing by 11,200.
Dr. Phillips said labour survey statistics are indicative that the pace of job creation has increased, particularly in the last year, “and (moreso) in the last few months.”
“Conservatively, we must be able to maintain this momentum, especially given that we have been able to identify specific investments underway in tourism, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), in the energy sector, agriculture, and even manufacturing,” he argued.
The Minister said this will require the country maintaining “our fiscal discipline, further improving our business environment, and reducing our bureaucracy.”
“That means, going forward, we have to focus on the public sector transformation efforts to ensure that we are able to continue the pace of improvements in the ease of doing business, and make the public sector more cost-efficient by removing the duplication in the work of agencies, using common services, where possible, and utilizing, to a better extent, the available information technologies,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Jamaica is on course to pass its 10th consecutive IMF review, for the July to September quarter and secure its 11th drawdown, totalling US$39 million, under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
The IMF Staff Mission, headed by Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, which conducted the review over the past week, concluded that the Economic Reform Programme’s (ERP) implementation remains “strong.” All quantitative targets and structural benchmarks for the quarter were met.
The IMF Board is scheduled to consider the 10th review in December.
Dr. Ramakrishnan said the authorities and the Mission agreed that the focus should now be to ensure that Jamaica moves quickly to a position of strong sustainable dynamic growth and job creation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips described the 10th review as the “smoothest” ever undertaken since the ERP’s implementation in 2012.
He commended the trade unions representing public sector workers for the spirit in which they approached the 2015/17 wage negotiations, resulting in an agreement being reached for a seven per cent salary increase.