Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has attributed the 19 per cent drop in poverty between 2015 and 2016 to increased employment and reduction in the cost of living.
Data from the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions, released yesterday by the Planning Institute of Jamaica, indicated that the rate of poverty dropped by 4.1 percentage points to 17.1 per cent, a six-year low.
“Mr Speaker, these declines in poverty are consistent with rising employment, which Jamaica has been enjoying,” Clarke told the House of Representatives yesterday.
“Over 40,000 jobs have been created in the last two years. It is consistent with the low inflation that Jamaica has been enjoying for, thankfully, a good period of time, and it is consistent with the sharp growth in agricultural output in 2016 over 2015,” explained Clarke.
He said that poverty in rural Jamaica fell by 30 per cent during the period.
The finance minister asserted that Government was moving to further reduce the poverty rate through increased funding for growth-inducing activities, poverty alleviation, and social support.
He added, “Mr Speaker, this is great news for the people of Jamaica, as it speaks to the fact that economic opportunity is expanding for more and more of our fellow citizens.”