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Sep 4, 2012

What the economic indicators show about the country

The Great Belize Research Center begins a series on national economic indicators that will look at health of the economy. To kick off this segment, the GBRC looked at the most recent figures on the population and the state of unemployment. The results, you will find, both surprising and instructive.


Firstly, looking at the 2010 population figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize; the first issue that jumped out was a clear pattern which shows that the demographics of Belize are changing significantly. While historically, the Creole population was dominant; this is no longer the case. The Mestizo population has grown considerably to forty-nine point seven percent; it now more than doubles the Creole population which is at twenty point eight. The Mayas are a distant third at nine point nine percent and the Garinagu at four point six percent.


Turning to the 2011 Labor force survey, the figures paint a rather dismal or even disconcerting picture. The main issue is that the labor force is highly uneducated. Out of one hundred and forty-eight thousand and ninety-three employable persons, at least forty-five point nine percent are illiterate and only twenty-eight percent have the minimum of primary school education. Another concern is that the largest group of unemployed persons is perhaps the most vulnerable. The numbers show that over one-fourth of the labor force, or twenty-five point three percent of those without a job, are young people between the ages of fourteen to twenty-four years. Yet, this is the sector that should have the capacity and the ability to be the most productive.


The gender gap within the labor force is also dominant and shows a large discrepancy between males and females. The majority of persons not working are females; as much as twenty-two point three percent, while in sharp contrast only nine point one percent males are not working; a difference of thirteen point two percent.


Looking at the labor force by ethnicity, the majority who are unemployed are Mayas at eighteen point six percent followed by the Garinagu at seventeen point four percent. This is consistent with the highest geographical areas of unemployment being in the southern districts. The Creole population has the third highest employment at sixteen point two percent. And in relation to distribution by district, the highest numbers of employed people are from the Corozal district at seventy-one percent.  At the other end of the country, the Toledo district has the most number of persons not employed; as many as fifty-three point two percent.


On a wider scope, it is also disconcerting that the majority of people not working are those who are born in Belize, which is at sixteen point two percent. Comparatively, unemployed persons living in Belize, but born in Guatemala, stands at eleven percent. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the overall unemployment rate is the highest in a decade. The issues to draw; the population is predominantly Hispanic,  youth and women are most unemployed, the labor force is highly uneducated, Toledo has the highest unemployment while nationally, the unemployment figure is the highest in a  decade. While unemployment is at its peak, the cost of living is also soaring. That’s an issue we will look at in our next segment.

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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6 Responses for “What the economic indicators show about the country”

  1. Rod says:

    I’ve been telling you all this for years now this is the worse pm and gov in the history of this great nation , education in the dirt box , economy in the garbage , crime completely out of hand , murders the highest ever we have had more murders in the 4 years barrow has been in office than in the past 40 years think about it people more murders in 4 years than in 40 years this is eye popping, we have more dunce kids in school now than in the past 40 years tourism is ok but could be 100 times better if not for crime the population of Belize are living in fear 24 hrs a day people people it’s time to kick this pm and gov to the curb if not Belize will have no youth left to pass this country to now its even women and children being killed daily but I bet you barrows picnic no have to worry about getting shot or robbed like fu unu picnic wake up belizeans guan judas barrow you are a total failure at your job. Resign resign do the right thing.

  2. Maverick says:

    Rod, you are either asleep under a rock, or you clearly are stuck in a time warp. If you believe for a minute that these results suddenly appeared after four years of UDP rule, you need some medication. The major issues facing our nation is the result of a long number of years of neglect and of political patrimony. Handouts of drippings to the poor to keep them poor and dependent, while the major wealth (land, sweetheart contracts, natural resources, tax breaks, loans, public funds) are shared out to the well-connected. This phenomenon became 10-time worse over the Fonseca led era of the PUP, as their idea of Growth Economics had nothing to do with improving education, or fair distribution of wealth, but instead was centered around crony-capitalism. I will say that the UDP agenda to set the ship right (anti-corruption, superbond restructure, tighten on bank supervision, etc.) is timely, but that course has been set and the time is now to soften policies to encourage good investment into job creating enterprises. Barrow is the right guy at the helm. Another PUP term would be a disaster!

  3. Harvest says:

    Maverick you have an agenda dude. Barrow is the right guy and there is anti-corruption, superbond restructure, etc in place? Look at the stats above and see what is going on in the country and talk a walk on the streets. You must be in an AC room at some public office or central bank with your feet in the air collecting your monthly cheque for doing NADA. I have never seen Belize like this ever.

  4. bobby says:

    maveric i see you are watching belize from an angle of which only the PM and its government sees it from. i agree the superbond is an issue affecting our economy and the government caims there is no money to continue payments of the coupons but yet the government has money to buy vehicles for all its ministers, millions of dollars to give away during campaign season, millions of dollars to write off loans( which only UDP supporters were elligible) and the list goes on and on… come on lets be real, this is the worst government ever and we all know it so lets not play blind just because we got a piece of the pie! wake up belize

  5. Public says:

    Three of you are clueless. Nothing to do with UDP nothing to do with PUP, the entire damn world is in disarray, Europe, USA, Mexico etc etc etc etc…. When things go bad in these big economies, we suffer as well. simple as that. You all should read something else other than 50 shades of Grey sometime.

  6. junito says:

    Public. Only a fool would find a scapegoat on larger economies for our economic woes. SO how comes, Sweden, Luxembourg, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, Liechtenstein, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Austria, Andorra, Germany, Iceland, Switzerland, Portugal, Australia, Norway which most are smaller than Belize have some secret to be prosperous countries amidst of economic crisis of USA and Europe?? BTW Mexico is not in a crisis. Stop looking for outside solutions to our inside problems. with our meager population of 300 thousand we should all be living out of poverty. All the blame is on the government.

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