NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, on Monday, June 24, stated that while growth has been experienced over the past year, much more is expected. Minister Thompson was making his contribution to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate in the Senate.
There has been an increase in air arrivals in January, February and April of 2019; and for the calendar year of 2018, air and sea arrivals were up by 9.1 percent, he said.
There has also been an increase in exemption totals, since the increased duty allowance to $500 last year. “Every dollar exempted, is a dollar saved by Bahamians either to buy more goods or to keep in their pockets.”
He also noted that there has been slight decrease in the unemployment numbers for Grand Bahama. “The latest Labour Force Survey which provides an indication of employment numbers between May 2018 and November 2018.
“Grand Bahama showed a significant decrease in the unemployment rate, from 12.4% to 11.9%. It is the first time since 2008, the year which we commonly refer to as the modern day Great Recession, that the employment rate decreased below 12%.”
He continued, “It is also important to highlight that the number of discouraged workers also fell in Grand Bahama at a rate of 9.8%. This is a good indication that not only are more people finding employment but more people are hopeful of finding employment. These are two very good results for Grand Bahama.
“We are therefore motivated to work even harder. We also recognize that while the numbers show that generally things are getting better, we know things are not getting better for everyone. We all have a lot more work to do until we fulfil Grand Bahama’s true potential.”