Premier predicts further fall in unemployment

| 26/02/2019 | 52 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has said that when the fall 2018 Labour Force Survey results are released by the Economics and Statistics Office, it will show that unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate in more than decade. He said the overall rate is expected to be just 2.9%, and among Caymanians it will have dropped from 7.3% to 4.6%. Speaking at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lunch last week, McLaughlin said the local economy continued to perform strongly, generating jobs and opportunities for Caymanians.

As the ESO begins work on the first survey of 2019, the most recent figures the office provided were for the survey last spring, which had shown an overall increase in employment, with the jobless rate among Caymanians falling to 5.3%. But the premier said the fall 2018 figures due in a few weeks will reveal an even greater decline in the number of people out of work.

The premier said that following his appeal to the business community in 2017 “to redouble efforts to employ suitably qualified and experienced Caymanians”, the figures show that employers had played their part.

He said government was “far from complacent”, with more needing to be done to strengthen the position of Caymanians in the job market. However, the figures “represent a significant step towards fulfillment of this government’s key pledge to a strong economy where every Caymanian who is willing and able to work can find a suitable job”, he added.

McLaughlin said government was putting in place changes to maintain the improvement in local employment, which will be spearheaded by the new Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman.

The premier told the business audience that the official forecast for 2018 year-end showed that GDP grew by 3.4% last year. But he also implied that the high rate of inflation that is beginning to cause serious concern in the community, which was raised by the Chamber President Chris Kirkconnell ahead of the premier’s own address, was not as bad as it may seem. The premier said the high cost of living figures come on the back of a period of deflation.

“Taking a longer term view, prices in the Cayman economy in September 2018 were actually only 2.5% higher overall than they had been in September 2014. That represents a significant five-year period of overall low inflation,” he said. “However, we recognise that the current level of inflation can represent a squeeze on living standards and the cost of doing business, but the tools available to government to reduce inflation are limited.”

The cause of recent price increases was a jump in electricity prices, but the government had kept the fuel duty reductions and cuts also remained in place on other import duties for licensed retailers to help lower prices, he said.

There are, however, questions about how much of that duty cut has ever been passed to the consumer, given the current inflation rate and the daily experiences of residents.

The premier said government would continue to do what it could to maintain living standards, especially for the vulnerable.

“Last month saw the second of our promised increases in the minimum income we guarantee to those in receipt of social assistance, retired seamen and veterans, and retired long-serving civil servants,” McLaughlin said.

“These individuals saw their monthly receipts from government rising to $750. That increase of at least 36% since this government took office under two years ago is directly benefitting hundreds of Caymanians and, I should add, delivering on another of the key pledges we made to the country,” he added.

In his speech at the event, the president said that a chamber survey had seen the cost of living emerge as a major concern. Kirkconnell said employers were particularly concerned about the lack of affordable housing and that the government needed to encourage the development of homes that working people could afford, otherwise the challenges regarding labour will get worse.

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Category: Business, Economy, Politics

Comments (52)

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  1. Cybel Serviant says:

    Over-employment is alive and well in the Cayman Islands. It’s known as the Civil Service.

    • Anonymous says:

      As is cronyism in the private sector..especially with Canadian/Irish countrymen

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol you post a cronyism thing about expats under the cronyist of them all- civil service.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t forget the South Africans!

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah yes, those know it all busy bodies. Developers opposing the development by others.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t mind the nationality. I do mind when they don’t know what they are doing and can do whatever they want because they are friends with the boss/sleeping with the boss/play golf with the boss etc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Theres no way inflation has been only been 2.5% overall since 2014. For one, govt wouldnt have doubled cs pension payouts! But then, I understand that oil related items are not reflected in inflation numbers like our electricity and everything related (which is everything else!). We are using the same monthly kilowatts as 2014 and yet our cuc bills are definitely WAY more than 2.5% ….more like 25% since 2014.

    • Anonymous says:

      More great news from the best government ever in the Cayman Islands! Dear Honorable Alden run for another term – be our leader for life!

  3. anonymous says:

    Could the reduction in the Caymanian unemployment rate be connected with this new policy of recruiting solely on the basis of “personality” tests?.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this because most young Caymanians left the country? Got their education and couldn’t get a job because an equally unqualified expat got the job because his friend referred him? The rest of the middle management Caymanians left to other countries to get better positions in other countries because they hit a glass ceiling because they keep hiring the expat manager to fill a position that the Caymanian has to train him/her in.

    Has that been considered?

    • say it like it is says:

      9.419m Your comments comprise the classic Caymanian make believe. None of you have ever produced actual examples of these fanciful claims because most Caymanians involved in issuing work permits are doing their job.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm, have you ever looked into the distinction between being a partner in a law firm and being an owner of a law firm? That would be one place where the rot is stinking to high heaven.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ofc it would drop. you keep increasing the amount of expats that come in. the ration changes .. so it looks like it drop. yet still CAYMANIANs are out of work … EXPATS to the world! 100,000 people here we come …

    • Anonymous says:

      I gather you are one of the unemployables?

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not the original poster but I worked in the financial sector under an expat/fly by night PR that didn’t know what he was doing. I left for a better job elsewhere but not without applying at another place where I didn’t get that job because he told his expat/fly by night PR friend that I would be difficult to work with. However, they both don’t know what they are doing and I will sit back and watch with popcorn while CIMA walks in both doors over and over again.

        • anonymous says:

          10.05pm No wonder you had problems if you sit back eating popcorn all day, but of course you can get away with this if you are Caymanian, especially in the Civil Service.

      • Anonymous says:

        you be surprise where i work and the position i hold … tired of you people

  6. Anonymous says:

    With modern technology any survey results could be released in a matter of days, unless they are being cooked.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why does it take so long? 2018 Fall was loong time ago. But it doesn’t matter “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  8. Anonymous says:

    Alden, stop playing with numbers. You want to give numbers, OK, what is the average inflation adjusted income of Caymanian workers today, compared to when you took office?

    A household with two parents, one earning $18.00 an hour and the other unemployed is actually much better off than a home with both parents employed at $6.00 an hour, but you won’t even admit that.

    You are paving the road to ruin of your own countrymen.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In the other newspaper/site today Good Old Days restaurant is seeking a Kitchen Helper with 2-3 years experience. I’m not sure 3 years experience to be a kitchen helper is exactly what the Premier had in mind when he asked the private sector to employ ‘suitably experienced’ people. – “The premier said that following his appeal to the business community in 2017 “to redouble efforts to employ suitably qualified and experienced Caymanians”, the figures show that employers had played their part.”

    • anonymous says:

      2.19pm May I respectfully point out the restaurant is specifically targeting the majority of the Caymanian unemployed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Get another job besides belly-aching most of your awake hours….. geez!

    What a bunch of losers in here.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:35, You try living on $6 an hour. You would belly ache too because of hunger.

      • Anonymous says:

        or you could live modest humble lives like a lot of expats here….who still manage to send savings home….

        • Anonymous says:

          By living illegally 4 to a room, not having children to provide daycare for, by tolerating unlawful work practices including no overtime or public holiday pay….?

          Please try to form some basic understanding of what actually is happening before sharing your economic theories.

          • Anonymous says:

            4 to a room….yawn…
            caymanians could learn a lot from other cultures esp regarding work ethic.

            • Anonymous says:

              So a Caymanian with a child or a sick parent to take care of has no place in our workforce? That is the effect of what you are suggesting.

              Or do you suggest someone with a child should be expected to survive on $6 an hour, whilst paying for daycare and a room of their own (even if shared with the child).

              • Anonymous says:

                Minimum wage jobs aren’t meant to be permanent positions. They are meant to be a students job, a stepping stone or a part time supplemental job. You need to do things on your own to strive for more. Life works by survival of the fittest. Not coddling the weak.

                • Anonymous says:

                  So it would help if Immigration stopped giving senior positions to work permit holders earning $6 an hour. Not much to aspire to if every rung on the ladder above you does not improve your financial position.

              • Anonymous says:

                Maybe the baby daddy should be contributing? Or maybe contraception should have been used…if you can’t afford a child then DONT have a child.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is very hard to do economic comparables with Cayman in relation to the UK, U.S. and Canada. The one place we can do comparables to is Bermuda. Bermuda has a minimum wage of $12.25 an hour while Cayman had $6.00.


  11. WhaYaSay! says:

    Wonder if it will include “under employed”? Probably not as that sort of info never paints a good picture.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with 11:04am. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This government cares not about the regular, hard-working folks. This government is run by self-serving individuals who are only interested in feathering their own nests and those of the small circle within which they move.
    Those at the bottom, and nearing the middle are cast aside and left to fend for themselves while this government wines and dines the elite. The wealthy are offered concessions whilst the poor are offered abject misery.

  13. ppmville says:

    Regular Caymanians have suffered under the PPM they are worse than UDP only concerned about Dart and the Ritz or Kimpton glitteratti

    • Johnny Be Good says:

      This might have something to do with this wretched coalition we have now? UDP, PPM whatever other acronyms they want to go by, they’re all the same, rotten to the core. The next regime needs to be formed from new, incorruptible, stalwart individuals with the people’s interests constantly on their agenda. This is of course if there are such individuals in our midst.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for temporary ditch digging jobs Aldart.

  15. A says:

    Certainly possible as many of us will have to take on two jobs to be able to pay bills and eat.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Alden lets be real.

    You and your PPM cronies had nothing to do with the unemployment stats… this all driven by private investment into the island

    • Anonymous says:

      Build a trade / vocational school to suck up the young unemployed Caymanian youth.

      • Johnny Be Good says:

        Although this might be the best positive opportunity Cayman might have for training up youth to take on a skilled technical positions it will be “soon come”. Like the dump solution, it keeps sinking to bottom of the pile. Not going to happen as all the money will be squandered on more environmental slaughter and concrete piers.

      • Anonymous says:

        the old trade school chestnut…..
        its been looked into and it is not practical or feasible.
        if you think it is an easy thing to do….go set it up.

        • Anonymous says:

          The answer is apprenticeships. The Immigration Law demands it. If only we followed our laws.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:08, So why is it not practical or feasible here when all of the other island states in the Caribbean have a trade school? How is it practical to have 2 universities on an island of 65,000 people but not have a trade school?

          Nobody said it was an easy thing to do, however, as the wealthiest place in the Caribbean we can certainly afford a trade school.

          Cite your sources which say it was looked into and is not practical or feasible. Certainly more practical and feasible than a new port at $250 million plus.

          The time has come to put unemployed Caymanian youth to work.

          • Anonymous says:

            We need about 2 newly qualified plumbers a year. How much are you proposing to spend to have a school, with teachers and facilities, to produce 2 plumbers a year. In any case, in most of the world plumbers (and electricians, and masons, and steel workers, and clerks, and road layers, roof tilers, gutter installers, air conditioning repair technicians and irrigation system installers, and home security experts etc etc etc. learn their trade through apprenticeship.

            Why not here, and anyway, how many vocational schools are you planning on establishing?

            • Anonymous says:

              10:53, You obviously have no idea how long it takes to get a QUALIFIED plumber to deal with a water problem in a house or condo on Grand Cayman. What world are you living on?

              One needs to go to trade school first before you start an apprenticeship.

              • Anonymous says:

                And yet most first world countries exist without trade school for “the trades.”

                • Anonymous says:

                  What the hell are you talking about 8:30? In first world countries they are called technical schools. You need to get off island more.

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