Log In

Reset Password

Simmons press conference remarks on economy

Jamahl Simmons at today's press conference (Photo by Akil Simmons)

As much as we would like to think that we live in a post-racial Bermuda, these statistics reveal that when it comes to jobs, there is still a lot of work to do on race in Bermuda.

With over 3,000 Bermudians out of work, black Bermudians made up over 70 per cent of Bermuda’s unemployed; three times the rate of white unemployment.

These numbers don’t take into account the number of people who have simply given up looking for work or who have moved to other countries.

While we can rationalise this and make excuses, it is evident that in Bermuda’s “Jobs Crisis”, it is the black community that needs serious help in getting back to work.

We cannot fix this unless we face it. Pretending these disparities don’t exist won’t solve the problem.

The Finance Minister speculated that the bulk of these unemployed were based in construction and the service industry.

Whether this is true or not is open for debate, but almost two years ago, the PLP was pushing for an Infrastructure Development Strategy that would have not only repaired and restored our island’s crumbling infrastructure but would have provided relief to construction companies and construction workers.

Almost two years ago, the PLP was pushing for the implementation of JobCorps — a programme that would have provided education and training to vulnerable young people to help them establish a career. This would have been an exceptional vocational and academic training opportunity for our unemployed.

No political party has a monopoly on good ideas and in the midst of this Jobs Crisis, the OBA must humble themselves, face reality, be open-minded and willing to work on approaches that benefit everyone.