The St Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board has confirmed 2016 as the year with the highest number of Kittitians and Nevisians employed in the Federation – an achievement that goes hand in hand with the country’s growing economy.
Figures from the Board show that national employment stood at 24,539 jobs in 2016, up from 24,308 in the previous year – already a record-breaker for the country.
Speaking on 27 March 2017, Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris asserted that the figures are a manifestation of the Government’s hard work and dedication to tackling unemployment in the twin islands.
“The largest number of jobs ever recorded in living memory happened under the watch of the Team Unity Administration, and it happened in 2015 under our watch and in 2016 we surpassed – we outdid ourselves, we broke the record for 2015 and provided over 24,500 jobs; the largest number of jobs available and occupied by people in St Kitts and Nevis and the largest number of persons ever employed in the history of Social Security,” the Prime Minister stated.
Demonstrating that the nation’s female population was not left behind, figures indicated that 53 percent of jobs were occupied by females. Further figures also disclosed growth in micro, small, and medium enterprises, which the Government continues to support through initiatives such as its popular Fresh Start Programme. EC$16 million were allotted for the Programme in 2016, and another EC$35.4 million were set aside for the Programme in 2017.
“We had in 2016 over 200 plus new businesses, new businesses, formerly registered with Social Security and we know there are a lot of other businesses not registered with Social Security but that gives you the trend. The trend then is that the small businesses, which we were told by those who know contribute to the largest job growth in any economy, that sector is growing in leaps and bounds in St Kitts and Nevis—every year, we are getting improved results,” outlined the Prime Minister.