August 2011, the then Shadow Justice Minister Trevor Moniz decried PLP’s unemployment registration Drive as “more theatre than substance.” Royal Gazette August 11, 2011

“To date, the Government has been too slow and reluctant to collect data and too slow to act. We need action, informed action. Knowing the unemployment rate is a critical component of effective action.” Trevor Moniz Royal Gazette August 11, 2011.

In August 2013, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy, told all unemployed Bermudians to register with the Department of Workforce Development.  Royal Gazette August 15, 2013.  Is Minister Moniz no longer concerned with “theatre over substance?”

August 2013 Finance Minister Bob Richards states that Government does not do a good job at collecting unemployment data. 

Real Numbers Real People

Let’s look at the employment statistics that we do have; not ones that come from Minister Bob Richards unnamed “private sector analyst”.  

The 2012 Labour Force Survey reported that between 2010 and 2012:

• The annual median pay of Bermudian workers declined three per cent from $56,264 to $54,550.

• The annual median pay of PRC’s increased 28 per cent from $58,140 to $74,499 

• The annual median pay of non-Bermudians increased 23 per cent from $70,651 to $87,089 

• The annual median pay for our youth aged 16 -24 decreased 27 per cent to $25,335 which was the largest decline

• The annual median pay for blacks was $50,795 while for whites it was $71,751

• Of the 3,305 unemployed persons, 2,244 were blacks, 599 were white, 441 were mixed/other races and 21 did not state race

• 75 per cent of those unemployed were black males

• 1,599 blacks had been unemployed longer then 6 months in comparison to 664 Whites 

• Nearly 1 in 5 of our labour force reported that they were underemployed. Of those 6,760 persons, 5,883 or 87 per cent were Bermudian.  

• 4,323 black workers were underemployed.

Conflicting Statements

 “I’m saying the long contraction is ending. The nightmare is almost over. That’s what I’m saying.” Minister Richard’s Royal Gazette August 23, 2013

In stark contrast, “A lot of people have found the last ten months tough and I am telling you now that it’s going to get tougher, it is going to get worse.  SAGE is coming and they are going to make recommendations that no one is going to want to hear and it will mean cutting costs.” Senator Fahy, Royal Gazette Oct 11, 2013

Looking at the data published from the 2012 Labour Survey, who do you think will bear the wrath of the OBA and SAGE? 

Jerry Springer Final thoughts

In previous columns, I highlighted the following:- 

• 25 per cent non-Bermudian employed in the construction sector  

• 23 per cent, non-Bermudians employed in the hotel sector

• 44 per cent, non-Bermudians in the restaurant, nightclubs and bars sector

Other categories also showed a disproportionate number of employed non-Bermudians:-

• 34 per cent non-Bermudian employed as professionals

• 23 per cent non-Bermudians employed in the senior officials and managerial occupational group

• 27 per cent non-Bermudians employed in the business services sector

• 22 per cent non-Bermudians employed in the education, health & social work sector

Accountability

“We will create 2,000 Jobs” OBA campaign promise

“We were elected to remind Bermuda that we our brothers’ keeper.”  Premier Cannonier Bermuda Sun Oct 20th, 2013

The OBA must be held to the task of “urgency of now” and get unemployed Bermudians to work, first and foremost. 

‘I don’t want no peace

I need equal rights’

Peter Tosh

Christopher Famous may be contacted via e-mail at caribe_pro@yahoo.com