PNP shadow spokesman on commerce, technology, and innovation, Dr. Andre Haughton, says the average man is not feeling the effects of recent positive economic indicators.
This week, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN, reported that Jamaica hit its lowest-ever unemployment rate of 4.5%.
While the news has been met with widespread optimism by the Holness administration, Dr. Haughton remains sceptical.
Writing on Instagram, Dr. Haughton says the reports of positive trends in the economy don’t match the realities of the average man.
He says Jamaicans are still experiencing high food prices, high healthcare costs, and low property ownership.
Dr. Haughton is also a university lecturer and an expert in economics.
He says some of the other woes affecting Jamaicans are a non-existent middle class, low productivity, and slow avenues to wealth creation.
The record low unemployment joins other economic achievements of the Holness administration, including Jamaica’s shrinking debt-to-gross domestic product, GDP, ratio and consecutive national budgets that have included no new taxes.
Meanwhile, the new record low unemployment rate means Jamaica has achieved a unique trifecta.
According to public commentator, Kevin O’Brien Chang, Jamaica now has a lower unemployment rate than Canada, a lower inflation rate than the United Kingdom, and is growing faster than the United States.
The statistics appear to support his claim.
According to a Reuters report, Canada’s unemployment rate as of June this year was 5.2% compared to Jamaica’s 4.5%.
In May, Jamaica’s point-to-point inflation rate hit a 21-month low of 5.8%.
STATIN indicates the inflation rate has since risen to 6.6% for July, which is lower than the 6.8% recorded in the UK in the same month.
And the latest data from STATIN shows Jamaica’s GDP grew by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2023.
The US Bureau of Statistics registered 2% first-quarter growth, which rose to 2.4% in the second quarter of the year.