By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THIRTEEN hundred people endured overcast conditions to attend the British Colonial Hotel’s job fair at the Andre Rogers National Baseball Stadium yesterday, highlighting the demand for jobs even after the unemployment rate hit a 15-year low earlier this year.
Diane Roxbury, a mother of a special needs child, said she has been unemployed for three and a half years and hopes she will catch a break this time.
“It’s been rough, tedious, a little something here, a little something there,” she told The Tribune. “I am praying to God for our sake, because there is a lot of bills.”
The Bahamas National Statistical Institute released the results of its labour force survey –– the first since 2019 –– in June, showing the unemployment rate to be 8.8 per cent, the lowest since 2008 before the Great Recession sent the figure soaring.
The institute determined there were only 2,035 discouraged workers in the country, people who are available for work but not actively seeking a job because they believe their job prospects are dim.
Ms Roxbury said she has become discouraged from waiting over the years. She said she and her child get assistance from social services and “other places that would entertain us when we are very low”.
“I really need a job so I hope on a positive side it really works out for me,” she said.
Takeya Williams, a mother of one, said she has been unemployed for about four months.
“It’s been tough being a mom trying to do the right thing for your son, trying to go on the straight path so he wouldn’t turn around and become what you wouldn’t want him to become,” she said. “Without a job it’s very difficult because I have to maintain lunch and keep him focused, whereas I have a place and rent (to deal with).”
Ms Williams said she has savings that she only wants to tap into during emergencies.
Dan McDermott, the general manager of the British Colonial Hotel, said the hotel would open in December, not October as government officials previously said.
The hotel aims to fill 300 positions. The job fair will be hosted again today.