Hilaire questions St Lucia job figures

Ernest Hilaire.

Castries South member of parliament Ernest Hilaire has questioned the authenticity of the latest employment figures.

The government’s newly released numbers show unemployment has dropped from 20.8% to 16.8% during the third quarter of 2017.

The statistics reveal that 5,000 new jobs were created in that period.

Hilaire, speaking at Castries Market St Lucia Labour Party meeting, stopped short off criticising the statistics division.

But he believes that 5,000 jobs in three months might not add up.

“So in agriculture, fisheries and forestry they created 2,200 jobs in three months,” he said.

“Most of those jobs they said were skilled workers… maybe people working in the banana field, fishermen [and] what not.

“But when you look at the figures, all of a sudden there are zero managers in agriculture; there are no more professionals in agriculture; they have no technicians working in agriculture anymore. There is no clerical support staff working.

“How [is it that] in April, May, June, you had so many people working as managers, clerical staff, [and in] technical jobs – and by July, August, September [it is] zero, zero, zero?”

He further raised questions about, the food, services and accommodation sector figures.

According to the statistics department 2,000 jobs were created in hotels and restaurants in three months.

“In Laborie, 1,000 jobs were created in accommodation and food services. 1,000 jobs created in Laborie in hotels and restaurants?” he asked.

“What hotels does Laborie have like that?” he asked in Creole.

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