– Advertisement –
St. Lucia’s new prime minister takes over when the nation is pregnant with potential following significant, unexpected economic recovery, says Joseph Boll, CEO of Caribbean Employment Services Inc.
The chief executive of the market-leading digital talent acquisition service notes that St.Lucia’s recovery forced even the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to go back to the drawing board as the country shattered its earlier projections regarding employment in the region in a “post-COVID” economy.
“St. Lucia’s resilience is quite impressive, given that its unemployment has dropped evenbelow pre-pandemic levels,” says Boll, “and dozens of employers are reporting employeeretention and new hires in spite of the intense economic challenges, plus increasingcompetition from foreign employers.
“Indeed, the country’s astounding economic success seems to have come from out ofnowhere. We have seen countries like Guyana, with major government hiring sprees andsuch a strong projection of growth that economists believe it will have a labour shortagebefore the end of this year. But St. Lucia has more ‘quietly’ exceeded economicexpectations.”
Early last year, the ECLAC projected that both employment and economic growth in theCaribbean at large would be somewhat stunted for 2022.
However, it has since revised its initial projections and now estimates St. Lucia “will realize the highest GDP growth among Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member states in 2022.”
This as St. Lucia’s most recent Labour Force survey, covering the period January to March2022, “estimated the national unemployment rate stood at 16.1 percent.”
In comparison, for the past six years before the pandemic, unemployment stood at around 20 percent consistently, marking an improvement even in significantly challenging times.
Further, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture reported that some 83 of itsmembership retained and added more jobs during Q1 2022.
This is also significant as the Great Resignation in North America and severe labour shortages in the UK have resulted in intense recruitment of Caribbean workers particularly for the first half of this year.
Boll notes, “Where other Caribbean nations are beginning to run the risk of labour shortages as a result of competition from foreign workers, it’s incredible that St. Lucia is doing so well in terms of employment.
“The Honourable Prime Minister (Philip Pierre) has taken over at an opportune time and welook forward to continued successes in this regard.”
SOURCE: Caribbean Employment Services Inc. Headline photo: Joseph Boll