Narrowed Topic: Unemployment as a Social Issue Affecting the Quality of Life in Jamaica
Purpose: To inform policymakers in Jamaica about the impacts of unemployment on the quality of life in the country.
Target Audience: Government, policymakers, and investors
Thesis Statement: Unemployment is one of the social issues affecting the quality of life among Jamaicans. It has led to a number of social problems, including violence, lowering of individual self-esteem, and increased rates of crime. The problem can be addressed through concerted intervention efforts from the government, development partners, and the society as a whole.
Unemployment is significantly high in Jamaica, especially among the youth.
As of October 2017, rate of unemployment in Jamaica stood at 10.4%. The figure is lower than the 13.2% recorded in 2016 (Jamaica Observer, 2017).
An analysis of statistics from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica reveals that within the past 10 years, 2013 recorded the highest rate of unemployment, which stood at an all time high of 15.2% (Jamaica Observer, 2017).
The government has made efforts to address the social problem of unemployment. For instance, within the past 12 months, approximately 27300 jobs due to a growth in the economy (Jamaica Observer, 2017).
Unemployment has led to various social problems in Jamaica, including violence, increased crime, and lowering of individual social esteem.
The unemployed persons engage in violent acts against other individuals (Corthesy & Harris-Roper, 2014). Such acts include, among others, robbery, murder, and domestic violence (Bailey, 2009).
Crime in Jamaica has escalated as a result of unemployment (Hutchinson, Simeon, Bain, Wyatt, Tucker, & LeFranc, 2004). For example, in 2013, the number of homicides increased by 23%, while unemployment was at an all time high of 15.2% (Haughton, 2015).
The self-esteem and social power of people who are unemployed is affected negatively, especially when they see others working (Corthesy & Harris-Roper, 2014). The unemployed persons are unable to engage effectively with others.
Interventions are needed to address unemployment in Jamaica.
The government should endeavor to open up the economy to investor and create more employment, especially for the youth (Corthesy & Harris-Roper, 2014).
The Jamaican government should also invest more in education to equip the workforce with the skills required by employers (Bailey, 2009).
Investors in the private sector should invest more in the Jamaican economy (Haughton, 2015).
Private investors and other employers should increase employment opportunities, especially for the youth (Jamaica Observer, 2017).
Bailey, A. (2009). Issues affecting the social sustainability of telecentres in developing contexts: A field study of sixteen telecentres in Jamaica. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 36(1), 1-18.
Corthesy, N., & Harris-Roper, C. (2014). Commonwealth Caribbean employment and labor law. New York: Routledge.
Haughton, A. (2015). How unemployment affects the economy. Retrieved from http://www.lmis.gov.jm/home/viewnews/f2e1cb08-3894-4284-8431-be784e14de06
Hutchinson, G., Simeon, D. T., Bain, B. C., Wyatt, G. E., Tucker, M. B., & LeFranc, E. (2004). Social and health determinants of wellbeing and life satisfaction in Jamaica. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 50(1), 43-53.
Jamaica Observer. (2017). Unemployment falls as labor force grows by 0.6%: STATIN. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Unemployment_falls_as_labour_force_grows_0.6_%26%238212;_STATIN?profile=1228
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