The Caribbean region is losing a staggeringly high percentage of its skilled population.
This is according to Director of the Economics Department at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Justin Ram. He was at the time addressing a regional stakeholder consultation session on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) initiative that was held in Guyana last week.
“When we look at the data, many of the countries [in the region] have lost as much as 70 per cent of labour force with more than 12 years of schooling. That is to say, 70 per cent of our population that we have schooled to tertiary education has left our shores,” Dr Ram clarified.
Moreover, the CDB official noted that unemployment rates in the Caribbean remains extremely high.
“In many of our member countries, it is as high as 25 per cent, and low as 4.3 per cent. I should add that youth unemployment is even higher, and in some of our member countries (it) is as high as 40 per cent,” he declared. Furthermore, Dr.
Ram posited that population trends show an expectation of many member countries experiencing a decline in population as the years go by.
A working paper published in June 2017 by the International Organisation for Migration details that, in 2007, the Caribbean emigration rate was four times higher than Latin America’s overall emigration rate.
However, it noted that while the rate has slowed over the years, the region nevertheless remains an area of net emigration.
Guyana has been named one of two countries showing the strongest emigration movements, with 9.65 per 1000 persons emigrating in 2013. It was cited in a previous study which stated that at least 40 per cent of the people in Guyana would migrate permanently if they get the opportunity.