SVG experiencing reduced productivity, non-existent tourism and increased unemployment

The Vincentian economy, like many others, is experiencing reduced productivity, depressed retail and commercial activity, non-existent tourism and increased unemployment as the immediate result of the COVID pandemic.

Within the formal private sector, data from the National Insurance Services (NIS) indicate that 395 businesses have partially or completely shut down since 1st March, 2020. These 395 businesses represent over 16% of the total active employers registered at the NIS. Over 3,000 claims have been filed with the NIS for employment benefits and Displacement Supplementary Income.

In and of itself, this increase in claims suggests that an additional six per cent of the labour force is now unemployed.

Considering the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic on the informal sector, we can safely assume that the unemployment rate has increased by more than ten percentage points over the last three months.

Government’s current revenue for May declined by more than 18% relative to May 2019. Value Added Tax collections in May, which can sometimes act as a rough proxy for commercial and retail activity, fell by almost 50% when compared to the same period last year.

Other relatively small, but nonetheless significant sources of revenue, like Alien Landholding Licences, Stamp Duties and Yacht Licences, all suffered the expected collapse as movement, migration and investment became more difficult during the pandemic.

During the presentation of the Supplementary Estimates 10 weeks ago, the Government cautioned that there would be “rough waters ahead” in our society and economy. Today, SVG is experiencing the early swells and choppiness of COVID’s economic fallout.

While SVG’s  revenue has decreased 20% in May, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has reported that other OECS countries have experienced a 50% decline.

While the unemployment rate will likely exceed 30% in the short term, the ECCB is predicting 50% unemployment rates in some of our sister nations.

As indicated, over 3,000 claims seeking unemployment assistance have been filed at our NIS. In Saint Lucia, the corresponding number is 22,000,3 with 43,000 seeking similar assistance in Barbados.

Excerpt from Minister Of Finance Camilo Gonsalves Ministerial Statement
 

3 Comments

  1. Yep under the United Nations and their climate change your tribulation come now. Under this covid -19 pandemic hope you enjoy it S.V.g

  2. Time now to review all of the work permits that have been issued and have those persons immediately replaced with a local person, or a definite time line within months as to when a Vincentian will be trained to fulfil those roles. We cannot be having the scarce jobs in our country going to foreigners, many of whom do not even pay tax on their salaries. There will be many skilled persons off the cruise ships who have experience and qualifications that need jobs too.

  3. St.vincent and the grenadines depends very much on the yachting business this cold of been a win win situation for us
    It was all handle incorrectly if they had only have the yachters quarantine on there yacht and not in a hotel
    No yacht man or woman will leave there yacht on anchor and go to a hotel for two weeks and leave there yachts unattended .
    We will be potting our people at risk bringing the Yachts men and woman ashore to live in our guest house and hotel
    Our governments need to start working with our neighbori islands and create a freedom of movement you shod only quarantine in one island.

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