Imbert/Paray Clash Over Unemployment Rate

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert is now being called upon to provide proof that Trinidad and Tobago has a full employment rate.

The call comes from Member of Parliament Rushton Paray following Imbert’s statements based on data provided by the Central Statistical Office (CSO).

The MP’s office on Tuesday issued a media release stating, “MP Paray remains skeptical of these claims and has called on Minister Imbert to provide clear proof to the people of our nation to support his bold statement. Instead of providing evidence, Minister Imbert resorted to a tired ad hominem attack, accusing MP Paray and the UNC of being deceitful.”

The release stated that  Paray has observed “the brutal signs of unemployment everywhere”  as thousands of  persons line up for hours seeking employment with a cruise ship and there are long lines of people waiting for food hampers, food cards, and other forms of welfare assistance.

Mayaro MP Rushton Paray. Photo: T&T Parliament

Additionally, according to the Mayaro MP, the National Insurance Board (NIB) reported that over 60,000 persons have been deregistered by employers and skilled workers such as doctors, nurses and energy professionals were migrating. 

“Despite these glaring economic red flags, Minister Imbert wants citizens to believe that Trinidad and Tobago is at full employment even as the economy is falling apart,” the release stated.

It also stated, “MP Rushton Paray remains committed to advocating for the interests of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and will continue to hold the government accountable for its actions. We call on Minister Imbert to provide concrete evidence to support his claims and to work towards addressing the real issues facing our nation.”

Last month, in Parliament, Imbert said according to CSO statistics,  in 2014  the total labour force was 658,600 people with 636,900 being employed.

In 2022, the labour force was 604,900 with  an ageing population.

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Imbert said the employment rate remained steady at approximately five per cent for the last ten years.

He afterwards tweeted, “The CSO has confirmed that the value of goods exported from T&T in 2022 was double the value of goods imported. The unemployment rate also decreased to 4.7% in 2022 and the economy grew in the 2nd quarter of 2022 by 1.2.%.”

Imbert also posted a link to the CSO’s website.


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