By Aaron Humes: Minister of Labour Oscar Requeña boasted of an “unprecedented” 21 percent decrease in the unemployment rate – proof, he says, of a shared vision and teamwork.
Questioned by Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow about what is being done to get Belizeans back to work, Requeña said that not only himself but any member of the Government could answer because the Ministries have worked together.
He cites greater opportunities in tourism and agriculture, long mainstays of the Belizean economy in particular. He also mentioned the opportunities to come from the Investment Summit held in San Pedro in November.
Requeña made a special note that the rural areas, long neglected, have been making a comeback.
As a result, the figures of 65,000 unemployed or 29.6 percent recorded by the Statistical Institute of Belize in its September 2020 Labour Force Survey (at the height of the pandemic and before the general election) were reduced to 9.2 percent, or about 17,644 – not “120,000” as cited by the Leader of the Opposition.
“I want to take the opportunity to say to Belizeans, that we will continue to work hard every day, day in, day out, to ensure that we improve the lives of all Belizeans, because that is the commitment we made under #planBelize to the Belizean people,” the Minister concluded.