NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An estimated 219,000 individuals make up the country’s labour force, and officials imagine roughly one-third of labourers are making minimum wage, in response to Labour Director Robert Farquharson.
Farquharson said officials, nonetheless, are still awaiting statistics from the labour report survey which has been rescheduled.
“The labour force survey must have been conducted in September of this yr, it needed to be delayed until January since the Department of Statistics is now finalizing the national census,” he said.
A whole lot have acquired employment because of this of the Labour on the Blocks 2.0 program and Farquharson says that they’re looking for to facilitate more in upcoming job fairs, nonetheless, he added that there usually are not enough people registering with the department of labour.
“Because the onset of the pandemic, numerous employers have been looking for people to work, particularly in the development sector and within the tourism and hospitality sector and in quite a lot of other sectors,” Farquharson said.
Inflation, high fuel costs, and large-scale imports have been a growing issue lately which have left many residents, including those currently employed, struggling to make ends meet.
Statistics from the local food charity Hands for Hunger show that one in three individuals worry that they could not have enough food to eat and one in five have gone a complete day without eating because they’ve not been capable of afford food.
Farquharson added that plans to extend the minimum wage will offer some relief to employees across the country.
“I can say with no shadow of a doubt that the federal government of the Bahamas has been actively pursuing, and I think is in the ultimate details of accelerating the minimum wage.
“The rise in minimum wage will give those men and girls a bit more buy-in power […] The price of living has increased because we rely a lot in our country on imports.
“And imports depend lots on the associated fee of fuel and that’s up and down, but the federal government I can let you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is considering and is about to make some announcements regarding a rise within the minimum wage and I feel that in itself, those employees also could have more ability to purchase,” he said.
On the opposite side of things, the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Center (SBDC) reported that entrepreneurship is on the rise. Since its inception in 2018, the organization has spent roughly 73 million dollars on assisting almost two thousand businesses.
SBDC Interim Executive Director Samantha Rolle says inflation and the increasing cost of living are also a priority for a lot of small business owners, and the rise in minimum wage may even impact their bottom line.
“With any business the minute you speak about minimum wage increase it adds more expenditure to your personal costs right, salary costs,” she said.
“Nonetheless […] you recognize the associated fee of living has increased and so there should at all times be some level of projection moving forward to sort of undercut those costs or to try to find other revenue generating ways or other ways to chop expenses outside of personnel to help with that added cost.”
Rolle says the challenges have prompted innovation within the types of more digitization and pondering outside of the ‘brick-and-mortar’ box. She added that because the pandemic shifts away behind us individuals are becoming more inclined to spend.
“I feel that there is certainly more opportunity in addition to consumers are feeling increasingly comfortable to spend.”
Rolle said: “Nonetheless I also imagine that what has happened by way of that, is it forced us to think outside of the brick and mortar concept to becoming more along the lines of digital but then also creating different firms and ventures to do more digital and e-commerce platforms and people varieties of concepts.
“There are greater opportunities by way of consumer spending because individuals are becoming increasingly comfortable and the underside is less stress than it was after we were in the peak of the pandemic.”