Barbados’ manufacturing and service companies are losing hundreds of jobs and thousands of dollars in investment.
That’s based on information compiled by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, which has revealed that 830 people joined the ranks of the unemployed in the second quarter of this year alone.
This was more than the 270 lost in the first three months of 2012, and the shedding of jobs in the two quarters negated those created, 399 between January and March and 186 in the second quarter.
The state-run BIDC, in its most recent Statistical Report of Employment and Investment In Manufacturing and Services Sectors for the period April to June 2012, is reporting 830 manufacturing and service jobs were lost when compared to the first three months of this year.
“Total employment in the manufacturing and services companies surveyed was reported at 10,933 for the second quarter of 2012. This total was 7.1 per cent below the 11,763 jobs recorded at March 2012,” the BIDC disclosed.
“Employment in the manufacturing sector continued to contract over the period, falling by three per cent to 7,881 at June 2012, as compared to 8,123 recorded at March 2012. Growth was recorded in two sub-sectors: handicraft (0.8 per cent), and chemicals and chemical products (0.5 per cent).” Unfortunately, there were job losses in other areas, including paper products, printing and publishing (-0.4 per cent); precision instruments (-0.5 per cent); plastic products (-0.6 per cent); textiles, apparel and leather (-one per cent). Unemployment was also higher in other manufacturing (-1.4 per cent); fabricated metal products (-1.7 per cent); non-metallic mineral products (-3.3 per cent); food, beverages and tobacco (-4.2 per cent); electronic components (-6.4 per cent); and wood, wooden products and fittings (-7.4 per cent). The recent survey also revealed that “some 6,308 or 58 per cent of employed persons in the sectors surveyed were males, while females accounted for the remaining 4,623 or 42 per cent”.
Manufacturing and services also recorded decreased investment.
“Investment reported for April to June 2012 totaled $5.4 million, some $1.4 million less than the level of investment reported for the previous quarter.
Investment reported in the Services Sector totaled $3.3 million, approximately $2.5 million more than the investment reported for the previous quarter,” the BIDC analysis stated.
The organisation said its quarterly reports were intended to provide information on employment and investment in those enterprises involved in business activities for which it “has the responsibility for promoting and providing development and export assistance”.
It added, however, that changes and patterns of behaviour revealed by these statistics are generally representative of the entire manufacturing, information services and professional/technical services sectors. (SC)