The feat has been reached under the administration of the country’s Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, who, on 5 April 2017, commented: “In 2016, we outdid all preceding years with an average of about 24,773 jobs monthly. […] That’s just about 25,000 people being put to work in a small country such as St Kitts and Nevis. Something good is indeed happening.”
The increase has had a positive impact on the average monthly wage bill, which is now also the highest on national record. “The total earnings for 2016 being reported by Social Security have been put at about [EC]$995 million,” added the Honourable Prime Minister.
Other improvements include earnings data from 2016 showing a decrease in minimum wage recipients across the Federation, down by 10 percent from 2015, and an 18 percent increase in high income earnings (above EC$8,000 per month).
In a statement made yesterday, 19 April, Acting Labour Commissioner Shernel James suggested that the achievement has much to owe to the robust outreach programme introduced by the Labour Department in July 2016. The programme, which is operated nationwide, assists jobseekers with finding employment opportunities by visiting job sites in person to learn about job availabilities. “We realised that we were being notified about mostly minimum wage jobs, so we wanted to also benefit higher skilled workers. Last year, we therefore decided to take a more proactive approach in order to impact the lives of a greater number of jobseekers,” outlined Mr James. A total of 673 jobseekers registered with the Labour Department last year.
St Kitts and Nevis’ record-breaking employment figures stand as a testament to the development of the nation and the Government’s commitment to supporting a dynamic economy catering to all elements of its citizenry.