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HomeLatest NewsJamaica poised for sustainable growth and lower unemployment, says PM Holness

Jamaica poised for sustainable growth and lower unemployment, says PM Holness

  • Jamaica’s unemployment rate 4.5 percent

By Garwin Davis

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says Jamaica is poised for sustainable growth and even lower unemployment in the times ahead; addressing residents, business interests and other stakeholders at a Town Hall meeting at the Harmony Beach Park in Montego Bay, St James, on August 31, the prime minister said it is against this background that he is calling on Jamaicans to maintain optimism and hold steadfast during times of change.

Prime minister Holness highlighted the country’s record low unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, while emphasising the importance of remaining positive and focused, based on the progress achieved thus far.

“As I drove in on [our beautiful highway] and viewed the beautiful distance around it, I couldn’t help but reflect on how blessed we are as a country. We take it for granted… sometimes… as there are many challenges [around us]… that distract us from the beauty around us,” the prime minister noted. “Sometimes the challenges are such that they may overwhelm us, and we lose sight of the good around us… and the opportunities that are unveiling in front of us. I am, therefore, urging all Jamaicans to remain optimistic and be positive about your future,” he added.

Prime minister Holness also recapped that Jamaica’s unemployment rate had hit an all-time low, signalling the success of various government initiatives and economic policies implemented over the past years. He argued that while changes might not always occur as rapidly as desired, he is urging Jamaicans to remain patient and optimistic, noting that positive change often takes time.

“My appeal here tonight to the great people of Montego Bay and [the rest of Jamaica] is for you to embrace a constructive mindset, as the nation continues to undergo transformations, aimed at sustainable development,” Holness said.

The prime minister told the audience that while in the United States recently, where he met with members of the diaspora, “they were happy” to hear about Jamaica’s 4.5 percent unemployment rate and reacted enthusiastically, “believing it was fantastic”.

He said there was a consensus that good things are happening in Jamaica by way of sound fiscal policies and the country’s proactive approach to good governance.

“When we told them about the reduction in the national debt, they were blown away by that. They were blown away because their experience in different economies suggested that debt was moving the wrong way in many other developed economies,” the prime minister said.

“When I pointed out to them that we moved from a high of almost 12 percent inflation… just coming out of the pandemic, to six percent and trending down towards our target… they were blown away by that also. When I pointed out that we have been through seven budgets without any new taxes, the reaction was the same. However, the [moment] I get back to Jamaica [it’s almost like nothing is happening],” he added.

The prime minister said the evidence is there to show that the government has made significant strides in creating an environment that fosters economic growth and job creation and that while he is cognisant that the pace of change may seem slow at times, it is crucial that “we maintain our optimism” and continue working towards a brighter future.

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