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$38 Million Paid In Unemployment Programme

Unemployment benefits were paid to to over 9,700 persons for a total cost to date of approximately $38 million, and more than 3,500 people have now gone back to work.

Speaking at last night’s [June 16] press briefing, Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson said, “The Government quickly introduced an unemployment benefit, to assist people who lost their jobs due to restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic.

“The Ministry of Finance has played a key role in this scheme and we have paid benefits to over 9,700 persons for a total cost to date of approximately $38 million.

“With the mandatory shelter in place restrictions being lifted, I can advise you that more than 3,500 persons have already gone back to work and are now off the programme.

“However to further assist those still not yet employed, the Government has decided to extend the unemployment benefit program for another 4 weeks with the maximum benefit now being 16 weeks. The cost to extend this benefit is estimated between $6-$10 million.”

Minister of Labour Jason Hayward also provided information on the topic, saying: “As a result of these closures, through the period of Shelter-In-Place, over 9,800 individuals were out of work and many millions of dollars have been paid out in benefits from the unemployment fund.

“Although all sectors were hit hard with large numbers of persons unemployed, some sectors were hit particularly hard. The top five largest job losses during Shelter-In-Place are as follows:

  • 1.Restaurants with 1815;
  • 2.Hotels with 1345;
  • 3.Construction with 1256;
  • 4.Retail with 991; and
  • 5.Small business with 921.

“As the economy has slowly reopened, many persons have been reemployed. As of the most recent update, a total of 3,577 individuals have returned to work.”