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Emergency jobs initiative.

EMERGENCY JOBS INITIATIVE. The month-old government formed by the People's National Party said some 700 jobless people will be hired to clear vegetation and trash in the short- and medium-term along a northern coastal highway in the first phase of the Jamaica Emergency Employment Program, reports AP (Jan. 27, 2012):

The party said its job-creating plan will be developed around agro-processing, manufacturing, communications, small business development, and cultural and community development projects. Opposition officials say the plan will not meaningfully decrease the 12.8% unemployment rate. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said her People's National Party would try to renegotiate roughly 25% of a troubled $400 million road program financed by China in order to transfer some of the money to the jobs program as a way to kickstart the economy;

But Transport, Works & Housing Minister Omar Davies said in Parliament that $188.5 million has already been committed by the previous government. A week earlier, Simpson Miller called on the private sector to hire at least one qualified jobless islander under another job-creating initative she dubbed Jamaica Employ. She estimated some 40,000 people could resume working if businesses comply.
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Title Annotation:JAMAICA
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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