1.3 million Jamaicans have jobs, says finance minister

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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AN estimated 1.3 million Jamaicans reported to jobs, in various industries across the island, as of yesterday.

The announcement was made by Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, in his remarks at the Guardian Life Limited's “Staff Blast Off” held last Friday at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

Minister Clarke said that in spite of the negative perception individuals might have about the nation's economy, the island is currently in a good place, with record-high employment levels, with more Jamaicans earning an income than ever before.

“We are in a good place as we stand right now. On Monday morning, more people will go to work than at any other time in Jamaica's history. Over 1.3 million Jamaicans will get up on Monday and have paid work to do,” he said.

Minister Clarke explained that after a long period of lack of investment on the island, a lot of production had returned to Jamaica and there were currently a number of companies being established and taking risks in Jamaica, like they haven't in the last 20 years.

He stated that over the last five years, Jamaica had the highest returns of any stock market in the world, making it the best performing equity market over that period.

“There are over 200 countries in the world with maybe half or more of these countries with stock exchanges and, yet, Jamaica was the best performing equity market over the last five years of all countries in the world,” Minister Clarke said.

He noted that as a result, the renowned financial publication and research firm Bloomberg sent a team of reporters to Jamaica at the end of 2018 to investigate the source of this dynamism.

Minister Clarke also commended Guardian Life on their 20th anniversary and gave a charge to the company to keep on taking care of the health and financial needs of Jamaicans.

The Blast Off is an event hosted by Guardian Life Limited for the more than 600 Guardian Life representatives across the island, at the beginning of each year, to recap the previous year and set a positive theme for the year ahead.

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