3 January 2014

Gambia: The Issue of Unemployment


We are seriously concerned about the issue of unemployment in the country.

This problem exists at the same time as most pay is just too small, especially for civil servants.

While many job seekers keep searching for employment on a daily basis, other underemployed persons have no option but to remain jobless.

This, at a time when a bag of rice in today's Gambia, for instance, costs between D1000 and D1250.

The question is, how could workers earning just a little over D2000 monthly, for example, cope with such a situation.

He or she needs to buy a bag of rice, pay house rent which is also becoming another problem, pay for the children's education, health care and so on.

What about the utility bills, transport fare to and from work?

It is because of things of this nature that many people work in this country for decades, without having their own car or house.

We are very much concerned that if one's earnings could only stop at paying for your feeding, what about meeting the other needs like the ones listed above.

As we enter yet another New Year, there is need for us to revisit our pay scales, in both the public and private sectors, so as to make them commensurate with the rate of inflation, and to satisfy basic needs.

This is important, considering that the price of basic commodities continues to rise, while salaries remain stagnant.

Indeed, the situation calls for a genuine look at the plight of poor workers, considering the current realities in the country.

The bottom line is that we cannot seriously reduce poverty, when many people are unemployed.

Problems associated with unemployment are many, including increase in the crime rate, drug abuse, frustration, dependency, migration, just to name a few.

When the youths are provided with gainful employment, it is expected that all the aforementioned problems would be surely addressed.

Definitely, if people are provided with jobs, this can make them live a decent and productive lifestyle.

Thus, there is a need to intensify efforts in creating employment, especially for the youths.

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