Fewer than 700 jobs added one year after election
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 30, 2013
From May 2012 to May 2013 a net total of 665 jobs were added to the economy, according to data from the Department of Statistics.
According to the most recent Labour Force Survey released last week, 163,995 were employed in The Bahamas in May 2013, when the survey was last conducted, compared to 163,330 people who were employed when the survey was conducted in May 2012.
Before the May 2012 general election, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) had promised to create 10,000 immediate jobs if voted into office.
At a rally in Hatchet Bay, North Eleuthera on April, 19 2012, Progressive Liberal Party Deputy Leader Philip Brave Davis said, “Vote for a PLP government that is ready to create 10,000 immediate new jobs for young Bahamians.”
Davis encouraged North Eleutherans to “fire the FNM” as the PLP was “turning the corner and ready to govern on day one because we are the party that believes in Bahamians”.
He asked: “Do you want five more years with Dion ‘No Job’ Foulkes and unemployment in double digits?”
Since coming to office, Davis has been continually criticized by the Free National Movement (FNM) for his pledge.
On Monday, during the signing of a $90 million heads of agreement at Club Med, Davis told The Guardian that he doesn’t regret the promise.
“It’s been taken out of context,” he said.
“I don’t want to trample over it, because instead of criticizing me of the promise to create 10,000 jobs look at what we did.
“Criticize me on what is happening. We are creating jobs and at the end of the day, at the end of this term we would have created more than 10,000 jobs. At the end of this current term we would create more than 10,000 jobs.”
He admitted though, that his pledge was not met.
“But we are still working towards it,” he said.
“The fiscal state of our country, when we met it, that disappointed me. It was far worse than we expected. We knew it was bad, we didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was. That has taken away from our ability to deliver, or to fulfill some of the things we said we would.”
The latest figures from the Labour Force Survey revealed the national unemployment rate jumped to 16.2 percent from 14 percent.
The department said while there was an increase in employed people, the number of unemployed people also increased.
Asked if politics is being played with job figures, Davis said: “Not on our part, because as you can see we are assiduously working to obtain jobs.
“No one is speaking about the jobs being created in Bimini, in Grand Bahama, in Eleuthera.