Papa’s Bad Unemployment Report

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Letter to the Editor

Dear Bahamas Press,

The government released it’s unemployment report on Friday and all I could do was shake my head! These bunch of seedy tambrine have the gall to tell me unemployment down!  Now watch and see how this greasy back government will spin this report. But some things jumped out at me as I read that report and I want to share that with you because I know our media will simply overlook it and not even bother to get clarification on some things contained in that report.

First off, the report was conducted in May and April of this year. Therefore this report should not be view as representing the current situation. The data is the most current, but it doesn’t reflect the present situation. This data is already two and a half months old. Since they have compiled this data the labor market has already changed.

Not only that, but the data they are comparing May’s data too, is 2 years old. There was no unemployment survey done in 2010. Why? Papa choose to divert the funds for the survey to the Census. So that dead right there.

On Friday, the USA released its unemployment report for July. They produce an unemployment report EVERY 30 DAYS. With a population over 330 million and a  work force of over 120 million they produce an employment report at the end of every month, without fail. Here in the Bahamas, with a population approaching 400 thousand, our government produces an unemployment report whenever the cock crows thrice?

If Papa don’t think it’s important, the monies for this exercise wont come. There is just no excuse for this. If the US can produce a report every 30 days, and their economy is way more diverse than the Bahamas’, there is no reason why the government shouldn’t have done this survey at least twice a year to get a better read on employment.  If Papa could find $5 million to pave the road for Miss Universe, then he could have found the thousands of dollars needed to do these surveys on a regular basis at a pivotal time in the country. It’s called priorities and Papa is showing us all who comes first!

Secondly, when the government says unemployment is down from 14.2% in 2009 to 13.7% in 2011, keep in mind that subtly they are not pointing out that it took 2 years for the unemployment rate to drop 1/2 (half) a percent. That is an uninspiring 1/4 (quarter) of a percent decrease in unemployment since 2009. This is a very poor reflection on the FNM economic policies and shows their inability to successfully respond to a crisis that affects it’s people. No wonder Zhivargo Laing has been quiet these last few months, he knows how poor a job he and his puppet master have done.

And then they have the gall to tell me “it’s a matter of trust?”

Bahamas Press, in almost 5 years, the economy of the Bahamas has basically been on life support and the FNM has failed to attract foreign investment, implement policies that would have helped in the creation of local businesses. Entrepreneurship died under the FNM. Hubert Ingaham has forced the closing of more businesses, especially with these road works, and increase taxes more than any other Bahamian Prime Minister.

We put this man there to look out for us; all the while, the truth was some other people put him there to look out for them. I have never seen it this bad in the Bahamas. And what is so hurtful is that the government for 4 years wasn’t interested in the plight of its people and now going into an election they want to roll out all kinds of programs and give out contracts like water? Where was these things 2-3 years ago?

If the addition of 3,000 people to the workforce a year for the past two years only manged to nudge the unemployment rate down by 1/2 (half) a percent, then you have some idea of the type of economic injection the country needs in order to put a serious dent in the unemployment rate. The government needs to create economic activity of such scale that will add at least 6-8,000 NEW JOBS A YEAR. Now imagine how much more bearable this recession would have been had Papa not stopped, reviewed and canceled so many projects when he took office? If some of those projects combined, provided an extra 1,000-2,000 jobs over the past 3-4 years, do you realize how much more bearable this recession would have been for thousands of Bahamians?

I tell you Bahamas Press, Hubert Alexander Ingraham’s bad decisions has done more to harm us average Bahamians than help. I am convinced this man has been on auto pilot for the last 4 years and only snaps out of his coma when an election rolls around.

You have seen the stimulus that the Europeans and the United States employed 2 years ago. Where was the Bahamian stimulus? What has Papa done to even try to create 1,000 permanent jobs? While governments around the world tried to create some kind of economic activity on their own by build roads, bridges, schools, etc, here in the Bahamas, Mr Ingraham did nothing for the first two years in office and in years 3 and 4, he gave jobs to Jose Cartalones and to the Chinese to build roads, docks and bridges. Meanwhile the rest of us are on the side of the road, helplessly watching the foreigners get all the jobs and we as Bahamians ended up having to go catch crab.

And then they have the gall to look me in the eye and tell me “it’s a matter of trust,” put my X by the torch? I will put something else by that torch!

Think about this BP, this FNM government waited until election time to produce a jobs program. And what’s so shameful is, hardly any of those persons who will be hired, will be made permanent. Those jobs are temporary and just how Papa fired all those contracted and temporary workers when he took office in 2007, Perry Christie will have the right to do the same when he takes office in a few months as Hubert has already set precedent. The very same thing he accused Perry of doing, Papa is now knee deep in it.

Third, this report claims that unemployment in Grand Bahama has FALLEN 2% in 2 years. Now why they trying to bullsh** us with this. I bet if you go tell them Grand Bahamians that their employment improved over the last two years ever so slightly, you will get lick with something. They better take that part out, lol. Why insult Grand Bahamians like that? To say something like that, man, you trying my faith!

Using the governments numbers, if there were 184,020 people in the workforce in 2009 and the workforce increased by 6,055 between ’09 and ’11, i don’t understand how there could be a decrease in the unemployment rate when we have added about 14,000 high school graduates to the work force in that same 2 year period? Plus another several hundred college students coming home from college and graduating from COB. Bahamas Press, I think there is some voodoo and do do in this report.

Furthermore, this survey seems to have only been conducted in New Providence and Grand Bahama. If so, this report doesn’t reflect what is going on in Abaco, Exuma, Long Island, Eleuthera, Bimini, Andros and the other islands. If unemployment in New providence is now pegged at 13% and is currently 15% in Grand Bahama, you know unemployment in those other islands have to be hovering near 30%. So they don’t include the other islands because they know it will only make the unemployment number higher? If this is the case, the national unemployment rate has to be approaching 20%.

But Bahamas Press, this is the part of the report that had me scratching my head; the government says even though employment in the private sector decreased, employment in the “informal sector” increased substantially by some 4,410 persons and it is the increase in this sector that has caused the unemployment rate to drop 1/2 %.

Now hold on. I might not be the sharpest knife in the draw, but why is this group tabulated in the unemployment report? If your a “business person” who doesn’t have a business license, don’t pay National Insurance and have no kind of record keeping, the Labor department wants to include you in its report, lol. This is a joke Bahamas Press. The government doesn’t survey businesses to see how much they hired or fired, or look at the National Insurance numbers to see if there is an increase or decrease in the number of people paying contributions. Oh no, the Labor Department goes out and talks to people, who by their label, are not legitimate, legal business persons and then turn around and includes that in a national document? Looks like the government is trying to find anyone who looks like they are doing something and marking them down as having a job.

Well, thanks to Google, I found some previous Labor Department reports and reading these reports and charts, they don’t mention or list this “informal sector” at all. So why is the Department of Statistics including these people now? Is politics influencing their work? Someone is obviously trying to put lipstick on a pig. When you see your government doing things they don’t normally do, it’s called desperation. They are making up stuff now in an attempt to build themselves up before the election!

This unemployment report is not soemthing a government should be proud of. But what was Mr Ingraham expecting when his policies favored his party’s special interests and foreigners over Bahamians?

Bahamas Press, they say Papa has a brand new bag. Well I hope so because the one he had for the last 5 years only had some sand, an old rusty fork and a piece of gum in it.

Wake up Bahamians, haven’t you had enough yet? Hubert Ingraham and the FNM has failed you and the Bahamas!

Altec

  • MY FELLOW BAHAMIANS CAN YOU SEE THAT KEVIN EVANS IS A LONELY OR IDLE PERSON? TWO MAIN REASONS ARE:IF HE THINKS THAT HE KNOWS POLITICS SO WELL,WHY CAN’T HE RUN AS A CANDIDATE IN ANDROS WHERE HIS ROOTS ARE FROM?
    SECONDLY WHY DIDN’T HE HELP HIS DISTANCE RELATIVE BERNARD EVANS TO SECURE A BETTER VSEP(VOLUNTARY SEPERATION ENGAGEMENT PACKAGE) FOR BTC WORKERS? KEVIN,REMEMBER BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER. BERNARD EVANS NEEDS YOUR HELP,ADVICE OR ASSISTANCE TO TAKE THE BCPOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL OR SIMPLY EVANS +EVANS=MORE TALK LESS WORK!

    • It’s amazing how it hurts when one cannot differentiate issues from personal feelings. “common sense”, you have just confirmed that saying that common sense is not a common thing.

      • media

        What shocks us more is the fact that Bahamians have strayed soooo far from their moral upbringings; that they use some of a vilest language to express remorse. WE HAVE GONE BACKWARDS AS A COUNTRY! Where has the civility in death gone? The idea to LOVE, and penmanship to express that love? Where are the cherished memories in the life of a women cut down like grass in her prime! There must be memories to cherish and share!

        Whole paragraphs in some of these responses had to be edited because of the heinous commentary expressed. Pray for the family and for the soul of the departed and lets move on.

        We have a country COMPACTED with demonic thoughts about people. WE ARE SHOCKED!

        Bahamas Press/Editor

  • MY FELLOW BAHAMIANS,CAN YOU SEE THAT KEVIN EVANS IS AN IDLE OR LONELY PERSON? TWO REASONS:IF HE THINKS THAT HE KNOWS POLITICS SO WELL,WHY CAN HE RUN AS A CANDIDATE IN ANDROS WHERE HIS ROOT ARE FROM?;WHY DIDN’T HE HELP HIS DISTANCE RELATIVE BERNARD EVANS TO SECURE A BETTER VSEP(VOLUNTARY SEPERATION ENGAGEMENT PACKAGE)FOR BTC WORKERS.REMEMBER KEVIN BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER!EVANS+EVANS= MORE TALK LESS ACTION!

  • @Kevin Evans

    Kevin Evans: “The unemployment rate in the U.S, is around 9.6 percent.This is not counting the millions of unemployed Americans who have simply given up on finding work.”

    The US unemployment rate is not 9.6%, its 9.1.

    .

    Kevin Evans: “You said that the American government had put in a place a stimulus to energized the dying economy.I think Obama had spent over a trillion dollars.I stand to be corrected though.That was in 2009 or thereabouts.Yet today that stimulus has had no positive impact on America’s economy.Things are getting worse.”

    Obama’s stimulus package was $787 billion. $288 billion of it was in tax cuts, another $224 billion was in extended unemployment benefits, education and health care and the remaining $275 billion went for job creation using federal contracts, grants and loans.

    By all accounts his stimulus help prevent the US economy from sinking further into depression. As a matter of fact, he was criticized for his stimulus being too small.

    When you say his stimulus didn’t work, your just repeating something you heard on TV. The Republican presidential runner Mitt Romney said the same thing a few weeks ago and blasted by the media for saying something that wasn’t true. The fact is, the stimulus helped.

    At the height of the stimulus, unemployment in the US dropped under 9%. When the funds ran out, their economy stalled and the unemployment rate has been around 9% ever since.

    Stimulus’ gives a jolt for a short period of time. The hope is when the money runs out, the economy would have picked up and can run on its own.

    Mr Ingraham should have borrowed $250-$300 million and upgraded, repaired and built new schools nation wide, repaired government buildings and embarked on some sort of national infrastructure upgrade.

    If all the labor was mostly Bahamian, when you consider the spin offs, that alone would have been a huge benefit to the people and the country would have benefited from the infrastructure upgrades.

    But for whatever reason, Mr Ingraham sat by and did no such thing. Its been 4 and 1/2 years of waiting on the US economy to turn around.

    .

    Kevin Evans: “In fact,Standard and Poor’s has just downgraded the credit rating of the U.S. from AAA to AA+. The U.S. had that AAA credit rating since 1917.This tells me that the foreign creditors of the U.S. have no more confidence in that once great country’s ability to pay off its massive debt,which is now flirting dangerously close to $15 trillion.”

    The decision to downgrade the USA’s credit rating had nothing to do with the recession. Did you even read the press statement from S&P? Have you not seen the blow back S&P have gotten for their bad decision?

    The S&P said the main reason for the downgrade was because of the POLITICAL CLIMATE IN WASHINGTON. The influence of the Tea Party Republicans have made it clear the republican control congress wont agree to any sort or revenue increase, especially on the rich.

    So this point you are desperately trying to make doesn’t fit your argument as you clearly don’t know the reason behind the downgrade.

    .

    Kevin Evans: “You complained about PM Ingraham’s inability to attract foreign investors over the past 4 years.This is true,but let us remember that many foreign investors are simply unwilling to invest in this financial climate.They are hardly investing in the U.S.,so what do you think about this country? No government,Altec,can make blood out of stone.Right now I wish they could.But,unfortunately we don’t live in the Twilight Zone.We live in a real world.

    …What you should have added,however,is the fact that we are presently experiencing the worse economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.It’s easy to beat up the FNM for this recession.But we must face the reality we depend heavily on the U.S. When the U.S.struggles,we struggle.”

    Again Mr Evans, if investment dollars are hard to come by and your economy is sputtering along, countries try to jump start their own economy by injecting cash through some sort of stimulus. The US, Europe and China all had stimulus packages.

    The Bahamas government did nothing!

    The Bahamas government didn’t even attempt to do something!

    The recession is not the government’s fault. But I can hold their feet to the fire for their performance during the recession. And quite frankly, its been poor.

    The FNM’s stance during this entire recession was passive. Mr Ingraham implemented a short sighted unemployment benefit scheme only after he was criticized for not doing enough to help the unemployed.

    The few big contracts his government gave out, they all went to foreigners.

    And to add insult to injury, Mr Ingraham raised taxes 3 times in the last 3 budgets. So even if I want to open a business or expand my existing business, its more expensive now than it was 3 yrs ago.

    This government has shown that when in crisis mode, they dont think outside the box and get creative. they just do what normally is done, wait on the US economy to turn around.

    When the hotels on the cable beach strip was about to shut down, leaving hundreds of Bahamians out of work, you know what Pindling did? The government of the day bought the hotels to keep Bahamians employed.

    When your desperate, you don’t sit around and wait on someone else to bail you out, you get up and do something. Our Prime Minister has taken no steps at all to even try to save a job or create one job.

    A crisis can harm you, but how you handle the crisis can make the pain bearable or unbearable.

    There is no way around it, this FNM government has done some very questionable things and made some head scratching decisions during this recession.

    If you thing they couldn’t have done better, then give them another 5 years.

  • The unemployment rate in the U.S, is around 9.6 percent.This is not counting the millions of unemployed Americans who have simply given up on finding work.Europe and the U.S. are catching hell right now.In some European countries the unemployment rate is 25 percent,or more.You said that the American government had put in a place a stimulus to energized the dying economy.I think Obama had spent over a trillion dollars.I stand to be corrected though.That was in 2009 or thereabouts.Yet today that stimulus has had no positive impact on America’s economy.Things are getting worse.In fact,Standard and Poor’s has just downgraded the credit rating of the U.S. from AAA to AA+. The U.S. had that AAA credit rating since 1917.This tells me that the foreign creditors of the U.S. have no more confidence in that once great country’s ability to pay off its massive debt,which is now flirting dangerously close to $15 trillion.You complained about PM Ingraham’s inability to attract foreign investors over the past 4 years.This is true,but let us remember that many foreign investors are simply unwilling to invest in this financial climate.They are hardly investing in the U.S.,so what do you think about this country? No government,Altec,can make blood out of stone.Right now I wish they could.But,unfortunately we don’t live in the Twilight Zone.We live in a real world.Even had the PLP been in office today,the same thing would have still been happening.I admit that the FNM has done a poor job on the road improvement program.That contract should have been given to Bahamian contractors.I understand that the excuse the FNM has used for this is that the IDB would not have given them the loan to repair the roads had the government not contracted a foreign road builder.The FNM should have rejected this.Besides,we are the ones who will have to repay that loan.Moreover,the contractor has dug up too many roads in New Providence.This has caused unnecessary job losses in the private sector.The government has definitely dropped the ball on this issue.You also stated that the unemployment rate could very well be around 20%.I believe you are right.Grand Bahama’s unemployment rate has got to be around 20%.But who do you blame for this? You can’t blame the government.There were factors that were simply beyond the government’s control that has caused GB’s job crisis to get this bad.You were right that you have never seen it this bad in The Bahamas.Neither have I.What you should have added,however,is the fact that we are presently experiencing the worse economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.It’s easy to beat up the FNM for this recession.But we must face the reality we depend heavily on the U.S. When the U.S.struggles,we struggle.I was angry at the FNM too.I too have struggled to make ends meet.But I realized that the FNM can’t be blamed for this economic malaise.Thank You!

    • I totally agree with you, because every other week the U.S government is facing some type of economic problem and we on the other have our problems but none like them. We as a people need to thank GOD for what we have no mater what, because the fact is there is now even that happens here that didn’t pass before HIM first.

      I can deal with a mind like yours balance with what is, I wish the BP would do the same with it’s reporting on this website.

  • ingrid

    way to go altec, you are on point. lol you forgot the black hat and quick silver.

  • Both the FNM and PLP government guaranteed billions of dollars in debt for a foreigner with Bahamian assets to start a business but they want to give a few Bahamians $7,500 to start a business. Who is the Bahamas for Bahamians or foreigners.

  • Drug dealers,gun runners and hitmen are ALL a part of the “INFORMAL SECTOR” so i guess with all the killings and drug dealings going on the government is keen to claim that these persons are not unemploy.I have already told you people that our Prime Minister in my opinon suffers from BIPOLAR MENTAL ILLNESS thats why his words CANNOT be taken seriously because you dont know which one of his SPLIT persona you are dealing with!!!

  • THE SALE OF BTC TO C&W SIMPLY MEANS THAT THOSE PUPPETS FNM MEMBERS OF PAPA PARLIAMENT HAD NO BALLS TO STANDUP AND TELL PAPA NOT TO SELL BTC.C&W HAS DESTROYED THE POOR MAN SUCH AS THE PHONE CARD VENDORS IN THIS BAHAMAS.BTC SHOULD HAVE NOT BEING SOLD DURING THIS MELT DOWN OF THE ECONOMY GLOBALLY.BTC USED TO BE THE SOLD PROVIDER FOR BAHAMAINS WHO WERE WORKING FOR BTC TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSITANCE FOR THERE FAMILIES.BAHAMIANS WHO ARE NOT WORKING FOR BTC SIMPLY WANTED BTC TO BE SOLD NOT DUE TO POOR SERVICE,IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE JEALOUS OF THE BENEFITS AND SALARIES THAT BTC STAFF WERE RECIEVING FROM BTC.IT IS SIMPLY THE BLACK CRAB SYNDROME.BLACK PEOPLE PULLING DOWN BLACK PEOPLE!DO YOU HEAR ANY WHITE PERSON TALKING ABOUT A CERTAIN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WHO HAS A BIG SHARE IN A ROAD PAVING COMPANY? ARE THAT CONFLICT OF INTEREST OR MONIES GOES WHERE MONIES LIES?