Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government has been working to advance the interests of workers and improve people’s standard of living through its economic policies and several initiatives.
Speaking in an address to the nation to mark Labour Day 2017, Mr. Holness noted that unemployment in 2017 is lower than in 2016.
He said there are nearly 22,000 more employed in this year, with several initiatives to come to further boost employment.
“We are opening up more employment opportunities to our people. I recently announced the Housing, Opportunity, production and Employment(HOPE) programme which aims to provide employment to some 15,00 of our unattached, at-risk young people,” said Mr. Holness.
In addition, the Prime Minister highlighted that there are significant employment opportunities opening up in the BPO sector, tourism and the mining sector where an additional 3,000 persons are expected to be employed as a result of some $2 billion in investments being poured into that sector. There are also employment opportunities in the special economic zones and logistic centered activities.
“Workers can have confidence that they have a bright future and that things are aligning in their interests. Last year, the economy grew by 1.4%, the highest in four years. Workers benefit when the economy grows,” stated Mr Holness.
The prime minister also noted that a 14.8% expansion in bank credit to the private sector in 2016 compared to 9.6% in 2015 is a plus for workers’ interests.
“On this labour day, workers can have confidence that they have a bright future and that things are aligning in their interests,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Mr Holness encouraged persons to go out in their communities on Labour Day and display the spirit of volunteerism that Jamaica needs by planting a tree, helping to preserve a monument or helping a neighbour to clean up from the recent floods.
Labour Day is being celebrated this year under the theme, “Restore, Preserve…Beautify”. The two national projects will involve the refurbishing of the Ward Theatre and the Central Police station.