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PREMIER PANTON ADDRESSES POPULATION GROWTH

Government 09 Oct, 2023 Follow News

Premier Wayne Panton

By Staff Writer

Hon. Premier and Minister for Finance & Economic Development Wayne Panton has addressed concerns about the rate of population growth indicated in the latest Labour Force Survey

Figures from the Spring LFS report estimate that the overall Cayman Islands population grew by 6.5% above the June 2022 figure to reach 83,671.

“While these overall economic indicators are positive, I understand the concerns of many Caymanians that the increase in population growth has negatively impacted their quality of life. We must continually strive to balance overall economic growth with improved quality of life and increased opportunities for Caymanians,” Mr Panton said in a statement.

 Regarding the significant population growth, Premier Panton added: “While the rapid rate of population growth is very concerning with regard to increased stresses on our infrastructure, public services, cost of living and the cultural balance of our society, the semi-annual Labour Force survey is a vital tool for the Government to use when planning new services, the expansion of existing services, and the proper allocation of resources – both financial and human.”

The Premier explained, “We can all anecdotally see that there are more people living and working in Cayman than ever before, but this impartial data allows us to act accordingly to address the significant resulting challenges. Although the rapid population growth of the past two years is something that could not be fully planned for in advance – given that it is a rebound effect of the pandemic, we are working steadily to improve our roads and transportation network, alleviate traffic concerns, and ensure that public services such as health, education, and safety are strengthened and expanded to meet increased demands.”

Premier Panton said, “Growth cannot come at the cost of peace of mind and quality of life. We must ensure that growth and expansion are sustainable. This is one of the key reasons why we need to be both strategic and far-sighted in our planning now and moving forward so we may ensure that all Caymanians and residents have a good quality of life within our shores.”

The Premier noted that there was one aspect of the labour survey report that he found overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.

He said, “I am heartened by the decrease in Caymanian unemployment to the lowest rate in decades, showing that our people are benefitting from the economic growth through a return to the job market.”

Premier Panton underscored the importance of reducing Caymanian unemployment further, saying, “It can be seen from the report that, as has long been the case, the highest number of unemployed Caymanians remain those without high school level education and further training.”

He also pointed out that “in the past two years, the PACT Government has put special emphasis on providing training and upskilling to unemployed Caymanians, and we have steadily increased the budget allocations for scholarships and vocational training for school leavers and other young Caymanians. It is imperative that we continue to chip away at Caymanian unemployment and ensure that our people are profiting from the growth and strength of our economy.”


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