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May 13, 2011

Bad timing? Saldivar says unemployment rate is ‘time sensitive’

John Saldivar

Although crime was the hot button issue at today’s House Meeting on the Hill, the census findings were also discussed. Recently, Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia said publically that he, as well as San Pedro’s Mayor, Elsa Paz, both believe that the population on the island is closer to twenty thousand and not eleven thousand as the census indicates. But today, Minister John Saldivar rose up to defend the San Pedro figures as well as the unemployment statistics. He explains away the high unemployment rate of twenty-three percent to bad timing. That’s right, he says the census was carried out during a time when there was less seasonal work in the agricultural belt and school was out. He also said, “The increase in the national unemployment rate is consistent with the rise in the poverty rate.” That begs the question of whether or not he believes the poverty is also seasonal. Here’s how he explains it.

John Saldivar, Acting Minister of Economic Development

“The assertion that San Pedro Ambergris Caye has more than twice the population reported is inaccurate. As it would suggest that San Pedro is almost as big as Orange Walk Town and Belmopan City combined. This is impossible. So if indeed the figures for San Pedro were wrong, then it suggests that the figures for the other urban centers are also wrong. And we do not yet have claims of significant disagreement with the figures from other municipalities. Unemployment rate. It should be noted that unemployment rate is a time sensitive economic indicator. In other words, there can be significant variations in this rate from one month to another especially for an economy like Belize’s where activities in sugar, citrus and tourism industries are seasonal. With most of the census field work occurring during off peak periods of these three industries and school’s summer vacation period as was the case ten years ago, it is expected that the unemployment work would be higher than other times of the year. To observe that the national unemployment rate has only increased by two point eight percentage points—from twenty point three percent in 2000 to twenty-three point one percent in 2010, is significant given that our country is still reeling from the effects of the Global Economic Crisis. In 2000, there was no such crisis and yet unemployment rate at that time of the year was twenty percent. The increase in the national unemployment rate is consistent with the rise in the national poverty rate. Could there have been flaws in the conduct of the census that would produce flawed results Mister Speaker? Of course, we are all only humans.”

In addition to the Belize Constitution Eighth Amendment Bill, other bills were tabled including the Firearms Amendment Bill and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service Bill came up for second readings.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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10 Responses for “Bad timing? Saldivar says unemployment rate is ‘time sensitive’”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    These politicians are too busy perfecting their new-speak skills. Reality almost never matches up to what these politicians are spinning–things hard out here, no care what your figures say.

  2. bigbrother says:

    what an idiot john saldivar is. time sensitive. i guess his idiocy is time sensitive. only in the morning… and in the afternoon he’s an a hole.

  3. john saldivar says:

    correction in the first line…should be “2.8% rise in the unemployment rate”

  4. Rafael Lima says:

    Minister the census was conducted during the high season. So why is SIB conducting the Annual Labour force Survey during the months of April/May of each year.

    What was published in the Census was the natural growth, births minus death. see statistics published by the ministry of health. net migration not taken into conisderation.

    The ministry of education is publishing enrolment figures of 99,000 for the year 2009/2010 while the census only reported 88,000. undercounting can be identified all district.

    Look at the voters registration for all town and add the priamry school enrolment and you can surely note that undercount do exist.

  5. hang em high-based on real life says:

    How come Saldivar’s speech writer didn’t look over his speech to see that he was saying something idiotic. If it is a time sensitive economic indicator that citrus workers ectera are out of a job. so unemployment is high that tiem of year. then you say that “the increase in the national unemployment rate is consistent with the rise in the national poverty rate.” tiy are implying that it is a time sensitive indicator of poverty also. you aren’t silly, your speech writer did a poor job. mea culpa

  6. San Pedro resident says:

    let’s declare him persona nongrata on the island. he is the idiot not our area Rep. stats for informal or subemployment sector should be given separately. if only our rep could speak proper english he would defend his statement.

  7. harmonyvilleBGYEA says:

    why is it that the politician always tries to fool the people. Doesn’t he realize that the people listen. The people put the man in power. and he tries to make a fool of us with his suit on. take off the suit and what do you have? Fool di talk Mr. Saldivar, but Fool no di Listen.

  8. jjpets says:

    The household that I grew up in, thought me to think independently and also not to be easily influenced. One of the prime factors that makes politician successful is when people dont have a mind of their own. People it is not about PUP or UDP anymore, make the candidate earn your vote.

  9. john saldivar says:

    Hang em high you seem to want to engage in a civil discourse unlike many of the others on this chatline so I will explain to you my words. first of all when I refer to time sensitive it was only in relation to those who quoted an unemployment rate at 14% and expressed alarm at the apparent drastic increase in the rate quoted by the census of 22. odd percent. while some of the increase is a real increase in unemployment, some of difference is accounted for by the time of the the year that the two statistics were taken. Thats what is meant by time sensitive. If the 14% and the 22% were taken in the same months (season) of their respective years then all of the increase could be ascribed to a real increase in the unemployment rate but if the two statistics were taken at two different times of their respective years then some of the difference is explained by seasonal factors hence the term ‘time sensitive’

  10. john saldivar says:

    and then, hang em high, the comment about the unemployment rate being consistent with the poverty rate had nothing to do with time sensitive. What was meant by that was simply that if we compared the unemployment figure from the 2000 census and the 2010 census both of which were taken during the same months (season) the increase in the unemployment rate is just about 4% which indeed is consistent with the rise in the poverty rate for the same period 7% from about 33% in 2000 to just over 40% in 2010. Consistent meaning in the same direction and of similar magnitude.

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