Recently, a Productivity Summary Report (1972-2007) was outlined by the Chairman Joseph A. Matalon at the Jamaican Porductivity Center (JPC). This report outlined and reflected the grim reality that Jamaica has the lowest Gross Domestic Product capita, which is way below Jamaica's Caribbean neighbors, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, and Barbados.
Jamaica's neighboring countries have continued to show growth while Jamaica is on a rapid decline.
Over the 35 year period of the report, the labor productivity of the Jamaican worker has declined at a rate of 1.3 percent each year. The decline in recent years has doubled to 3.4 percent per year.
The reality in the rest of the Caribbean is vastly different. Dr. Peter-John Gordon, research fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, and board members of the JPC outlined his findings that unlike Jamaica, countries such as Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Lucia have experienced a 1.5 percent increase in productivity each year since 1972 and over 2 percent over the last ten years.
Dr. Gordon, who is a part of JPC stated, "The report gives people an explanation of why we live the way we live, in this beautiful country of ours. The position thatwe stand in is not a position that we came in overnight, but it clearly indicates to us that we've been paying attention and giving focus to the wrong things. If we are going about and not focusing on the things that matter most, if we are not focused on trying to achieve specifics, then we are wandering around aimlessly and we are beat out by our competitors who have that single-minded focus," he said of other Caribbean countries.
"Increading the output per worker continuously over time is the only way to have a sustainable increase in the standard of living of the population." Dr. Gordon said during his presentation.
"And recall that there are some elements of the population that will not be able to participate so those of us who are working will have to work that much harder so that they too can have an increase in their standard of living."
Hopefully this issue can be on the road to resolution before the estimated length of time that was predicted. Jamaica needs to work together as a country and try to unite and help each other by committing themselves to help raise these decreasing numbers.
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Source: Jamaica Observer