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The Government of Saint Lucia says it is encouraged by the latest figures released by the Department of Statistics which show a decrease in the unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2017 and has renewed its commitment to help create an environment to continue this trend.

According to the figures, when compared to the same quarter (January to March) in 2016 the unemployment rate has decreased from 22.1 percent to 20.1 percent. The report shows that Saint Lucia has seen increased activity in the areas of tourism, accommodation and food service activities as well as increased employment in construction, financial services, education and manufacturing.

In his Budget Address in May, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet stated that the Government is working towards an unemployment rate of no more than 15 percent by 2021. Saint Lucia has not experienced such a low unemployment rate since 2007.

Meanwhile, the Government remains concerned about youth unemployment and under-employment as well as the employability of the Saint Lucia workforce. The Government is equally concerned about the rising unemployment among young men in the first quarter of the year from 35.3 percent in 2016 to 41.6 percent in 2017 as compared to young women where it decreased for the same quarter from 39.2 percent to 35.6 percent.

The Prime Minister and the Government are optimistic that in the coming months more people will be trained and employed in a variety of sectors including Information Technology, Tourism, Agriculture and Infrastructure.

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