Duguid questions unemployment figures

Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for Christ Church West Dr William Duguid is questioning the accuracy of employment figures recently released by the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS).

The Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) issued a release last week quoting the BSS as placing the level of unemployment at 9.3 per cent for the first quarter of this year.

Dr William Duguid (centre) during Sunday's canvas in the Christ Church West constituency.
Dr William Duguid (centre) during Sunday’s canvass in the Christ Church West constituency.

According to release, the unemployment rate among males stood at 8.7 per cent and ten per cent among females.

However, Duguid questioned those figures while canvassing the Bonnetts, Brittons Hill area of the constituency.

Responding to a concern expressed by a constituent who had claimed that he was once employed in the construction industry for many years, Duguid claimed that many workers were now on a 20-hour workweek.

“We are hearing that the level of unemployment now stands at 9.3 per cent, but the construction industry has almost ground to a halt. There are construction workers who are now being given a 20-hour week. The head of a household cannot provide for a family while working on a 20-hour week. Such a worker may be working but he is under-employed,” the BLP hopeful said.

Duguid had earlier told Barbados TODAY that Sunday’s canvass of the area was carried out to find out the needs and concerns of residents.

“One of the most important aspects of any political campaign is door to door canvassing- seeing the people face-to-face and pressing the flesh. There is no election in the air but I have five teams of canvassers meeting the constituents,” he said.

Duguid, the former Member of Parliament for the constituency until he resigned from elective politics prior to the 2013 general election, said information collected during the mass canvass would be included in the constituency manifesto for the next general election.

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