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Labour Force Survey won’t include Abaco and Grand Bahama

For the first time in more than 40 years, the Labour Force Survey will include data collected from only New Providence, Acting Director of the Department of Statistics Leona Wilson said yesterday.

The survey usually contains data from New Providence, Abaco and Grand Bahama.

“The Department of Statistics is in the midst of collecting data for its semi-annual Labour Force Survey during the month of December,” Wilson said.

“This survey is designed to supply reliable and up-to-date information about our country and how we are progressing. This survey usually is conducted in November in New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Abaco.

“But, because of Hurricane Dorian, it had to be delayed. Additionally, we are not able to survey the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco at this time.”

Hurricane Dorian ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September.

The Category 5 storm impacted nearly 30,000 people, displacing thousands and killing at least 70.

During a press conference at the Department of Statistics, Wilson said, “The Grand Bahama statistics office is still not fully functioning and was not in a position to execute the survey on Grand Bahama.

“For Abaco, because the population profile has changed in Abaco, we would have needed up-to-date information on Abaco so that a representative sample could be drawn.”

She said that every survey since 1973 has given a national outlook for unemployment.

“This is the first time we haven’t been able to do an all-Bahamas [survey],” Wilson said.

“…We always were able to estimate, even if we were just doing New Providence and Grand Bahama, we always tried to do an estimate for the all-Bahamas.”

Wilson said the December survey will be released next month.

She said that it will be the last one until 2021, noting that the department intends to focus on the national census next year.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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