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What needs to happen next

Seeking practical solutions and answers to the economic downturn, what, exactly, do we see? What, exactly, needs to happen? In a nutshell here is a simple and practical look at what, exactly, needs to happen. The 2008 figure shows Bermuda at peak. The 2011 figure is as reported, and do note that 2012 figures are all worse and lower. The 2014 figure, just two years away, shows what has to happen to get back to a higher level of national economic activity.



2014 GDP $6.11b $5.56b $6.4b Unemployed Bermudians 1,000 2,950 1,000 Percentage 3% 6% 3% Jobs filled 40,213 37,399 40,000 Bermudian Workforce 27,180 26,180 26,000 Residential Population 68,000 62,000 67,000 Exempted Companies 13,859 12,870 13,800 In plain words, here is what has to happen:

GDP — Must rise and get back to around $6,400,000,000 if it is to be close to what GDP was in 2008 when GDP was reported as $6,109,928,000.

Unemployment — 3,305 people reported as unemployed and resident in Bermuda in May 2012. About 2,950 unemployed in 2011. But this 3,305 of 2012 (and 2,950 of 2011) excludes the 2,000 or so Guest Workers who have packed up and left Bermuda. This 3,305 resident unemployed can only be reduced by creating at least 2,300 new jobs — jobs that have disappeared and that do not exist now. This will require new people to come to Bermuda and set up new businesses in Bermuda in order to create jobs for the unemployed Bermudian.

Jobs Filled — There were 40,213 jobs filled in 2008 and unemployment was 3%. We must return to 3% unemployment. That means increasing the number of ‘jobs filled’. So we need to add about 2,300 new jobs and thus head back towards 40,000 jobs filled.

Residential Population — In 2011 and in 2012 it is clear that there are fewer people living in Bermuda than in 2008, so residential population needs to grow. Since Bermudians are only ‘growing’ at around 182 a year, and since about 5,000 to 6,000 more people must return to become residents; it is clear that ‘these people’ will have to be non-Bermudians which would include employees and their families.

Bermudian Workforce — Bermuda’s population of Bermudians is only sustained by the grants of Bermuda Status. Despite this, Bermuda’s overall Bermudian Workforce is still declining, National Workforce growth can only be sustained and enabled by adding non-Bermudians.

Companies operating from Bermuda — There were 13,859 ‘exempted companies’ operating in Bermuda in 2008. Bermuda lost 989 companies and had 12,870 in 2011. This must go back up to around 13,800. This means adding around 1,000 new ‘exempted companies’. Any added 1,000 companies must establish a footprint in Bermuda. In doing so, they will create at least 2,000 new jobs. For us to achieve a higher level of economic activity, we need to open up our system for additional business to come here. Major legislative and policy changes will be needed to accommodate this occurrence which would result in restoring employment, rent and dividends. Either political party must tell the Bermudian people prior to the election how they propose to accomplish this as it is so fundamental to our survival.

Notes on figures:- Except for the unemployment and residential population figures, all the 2008 and 2011 figures are as reported by Government. Government has reported the unemployment figure for 2011 as 6%. This places it between the reported 2,583 and 4% of 2010 and the 3,305 and 8% of 2012. Residential population figures for2008 and 2011 take account of Workforce numbers and other verifiable factors. Get involved and send us your thoughts. This continues to be a collective effort by all Bermudians and we need your continued support, comments and ideas. For further information or to express your comments e-mail Suzie Arruda at

economy@challengerbanks.bm or visit us on FACEBOOK Regeneration of Bermuda’s Economy.