The Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) is urging government and the Statistics Department to stop confusing the nation and provide the proper employment figures.
LPM Leader Therold Prudent said he finds it surprising that Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, during his New Year’s address to the nation, revealed that unemployment was 23.5 percent but two weeks later Head of the Statistics Department, Edwin St. Catherine, said that unemployment on the island is now 20 percent.
“These are things to confuse people and you really have to question why is it that the Prime Minister did not have those figures available to him at the time he came to address the nation,” Prudent stated.
The political leader described the situation as “awful” and expressed the opinion that “nobody is working together and nobody knows the true rate of unemployment.”
“Like every other country across the world, everybody knows that during holiday seasons you will have an uptick of employment and these are not permanent or sustainable jobs. St. Lucia is no exception.”
Prudent told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that it is yet to be established whether the part-time jobs from STEP, political campaigns and other programmes make up part of the statistics being provided.
“To run with this as if it means we are making significant headway is not telling the true story of the reality on the ground, and this is why unless people feel it, then it means absolutely nothing,” he asserted.
The LPM leader made reference to a similar incident in the United States, where the employment figures were provided to the country, but people felt that it was not being felt on the ground, stating that Saint Lucia is no exception.
He said, “The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government can raise their glasses and toast as early as they want to, but the fact remains this is not the perception among a vast number of Saint Lucians.”
Prudent stressed that many Saint Lucians remain unemployed and noted that constituencies like: Gros Islet, Soufriere, Choiseul, Micoud, Laborie and Dennery, continues to face major unemployment issues.