JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Over the 51-year period from 1961 to 2012, output per worker or labour productivity in Jamaica, grew at an average rate of 0.3.
  • The Ministry has committed the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) to embark on “the biggest mobilization and public education effort around productivity improvement that this country has ever seen."
  • Minister Kellier called for a productivity revolution’ in Jamaica, “not as an event, but rather as a process.”

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says if Jamaica is to attain the level of growth of some of its CARICOM and global trading partners, it must radically improve its productivity levels beginning almost immediately.

He pointed out over the 51-year period from 1961 to 2012, output per worker or labour productivity in Jamaica, grew at an average rate of 0.3 per cent annually, compared to a rate of 1.1 per cent in Barbados.

“This average rate of 0.3 per cent of labour productivity growth means, in effect, that it will take some 225 years for output per Jamaican worker to double. In contrast, with a labour productivity rate of 1.1 per cent per annum, it will take only 63 years for labour productivity to double in a country like Barbados,” the Minister said.

He was addressing the opening ceremony for National Productivity Awareness Week held on Monday, October 7, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The week is being observed under the theme: ‘Productivity – Pathway to Competitiveness and Growth: Getting From 2013-2030’.

Minister Kellier called for a productivity revolution’ in Jamaica, “not as an event, but rather as a process.”

“In fact, we aim to unleash a ‘productivity virus’ throughout the length and breadth of the country. We want to create a ‘productivity pandemic’ in all the public spaces of Jamaica,” he stated.

Minister Kellier said that towards this end, the Ministry has committed the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) to embark on “the biggest mobilization and public education effort around productivity improvement that this country has ever seen.”

He appealed for all sectors to get involved in the effort, noting that the country has much to gain.

The Minister argued that it is only through productivity growth that Jamaica can enhance business competitiveness; expand or create new enterprises; attract foreign and local investments; create productive and decent jobs; and fulfill the growing expectations of the people for improvement in their standard of living.

He pointed to some notable successes in increasing efficiency, output, and levels of competitiveness in enterprises that have used the services of the JPC and applauded the companies.

The Minister further noted that while Government is responsible for creating the environment in which businesses operate, long-term productivity growth can only be realized by enterprise, innovation, skills and investment.

“In other words, by investing in new capital, increasing skill levels, introducing new innovations and encouraging entrepreneurial activity,” he said.

National Productivity Awareness Week continues with the hosting of a two-day conference (October 8 and 9) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.