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Caribbean youths need jobs – females hit the hardest

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Youths in the Caribbean, particularly females, have among the highest rate of unemployment in the world, according to a new study released by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

In their report, “Youth are our Future: The Imperative of Youth Employment for Sustainable Development”, presented at the final day of the 45th Annual General Meeting of the CDB’s Board of Governors, the bank showed that nearly 25 percent of youth, for the countries which were surveyed, were unemployed.

Females were found to be more affected than their male counterparts having unemployment rates of 30 percent, 10 percent above males.

Belize was one of the eight countries surveyed, and one of three cited to have experienced a spike in youth unemployment since 2007: the others being Barbados and the Bahamas. Trinidad and Tobago was the only country surveyed which showed any reduction of youth unemployment, which was seen between 2006–2010.

Deputy Labour Commissioner Paulette Wagner, speaking at the annual Labour Day presentation by the labour department, emphasized that many Belizeans are unaware that the department has a unit dedicated to helping citizens find a job. The department, she explained, is preparing more public awareness activities so more Belizeans can access this service.

The Statistical Institute of Belize, at the end of 2014, released the results of its Labour Force Survey, which showed that the youth and females were most affect by unemployment in Belize.

Director General of the SIB, Dr. Leopold Perriott explained that unemployed persons are those who are of age and are able to work, and are actively seeking employment. He added that in Belize the number of unemployed persons was 18,479, with the youth population between 14-24 years having highest unemployment rate, 25.5 percent.

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