Government encouraged by record-breaking surge in employment figures in 2016

(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Figures from the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board have indicated that in 2016, 24,539 jobs were undertaken, up from 24,308 in 2015, making 2016 the best year for job seekers.

Responding to those figures, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said it is further evidence that the Team Unity Government is doing a good job for which it should be commended.

Speaking on Sugar City FM’s The People’s Voice radio programme with host Ambassador His Excellency Michael Powell on Monday (March 27), Prime Minister Harris said the 2016 employment figures represent the largest number of jobs ever created in one year in the federation.

“The largest number of jobs ever recorded in living memory happened under the watch of the Team Unity Administration, and it happened in 2015 under our watch and in 2016 we surpassed—we outdid ourselves, we broke the record for 2015 and provided over 24,500 jobs; the largest number of jobs available and occupied by people in St. Kitts and Nevis and the largest number of persons ever employed in the history of Social Security,” Dr. Harris stated, adding that the country is moving in the right direction.

The Social Security figures also revealed that 53% or 13,001 of the 24,539 jobs went to females and 11,538 representing 47% of jobs were held by men.

The prime minister further stated that additional jobs will be created, particularly in the construction sector, as the government’s housing programme picks up momentum next month.

Prime Minister Harris also took comfort in the fact that there continues to be growth in the micro, small and medium enterprises sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.

He added, “We had in 2016 over 200 plus new businesses, new businesses, formerly registered with Social Security and we know there are a lot of other businesses not registered with Social Security but that gives you the trend. The trend then is that the small businesses, which we were told by those who know contribute to the largest job growth in any economy, that sector is growing in leaps and bounds in St. Kitts and Nevis—every year, we are getting improved results.”

Dr. Harris said the increase in the number of businesses is as a direct result of the government’s Fresh Start programme. In 2016, the sum of $16 million was initially allocated to the Fresh Start Programme and in 2017, a further sum of $35.4 million was mobilised.

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