Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, at his final press conference for 2018 at the Cabinet Room at Pinney’s Estate on Nov. 20.

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, described an increase in employment figures on Nevis for the first half of 2018 as encouraging.

The Premier stated that statics from a comparative analysis report for January to June 2018 versus 2017 conducted by the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board revealed the increase, when he made a presentation at his final press conference for 2018 at Pinney’s Estate on Nov. 20.

“I think we can all agree that if self-employment has grown by 31 percent, according to official Social Security statistics, and new employee registration has grown by 75 percent, we can say something good is happening in employment in Nevis.

“We hope that the figures will hold for the balance of the year,” Brantley said. “We look forward to seeing those [similar] numbers for the end of the year. “I think those numbers are encouraging for the island of Nevis moving forward.”

Brantley explained that the data for the period under review revealed that 217 people registered. Among those 109 or 50.2 percent were female and 108 or 49 percent were male.

The monthly data during the review period also revealed registration figures ranged from 30 in May to 53 in April, averaging 36 registrants per month. According to an age distribution, 143 or 65.9 percent were between 16 and 29 years of age; 70 or 32.3 percent were between 30 and 62 years; 2 or 0.9 percent were younger than16 years old and 2 or 0.9 percent were older than 62 years.

In the Wholesale and Retail Sector there were 48 or 22.1 percent of the new registrants; the Hotel and Restaurant Sector accounted for 45 or 20.7 percent and the Construction Sector recorded 29 or 13.4 percent of the new registrants, which represents a growth in employee registration of 93 or 75 percent.

The finance minister expressed the view that new registrants are not always captured by Social Security; however, he believes that the figures revealed in the statistics suggest the possibility of even greater numbers introduced to the work force on the island.

“When we see numbers like this, we can deduce that the numbers are in fact higher in terms of employment,” Brantley explained. “Nevis recorded a 75 percent increase in new registrations, meaning new workers, and new people coming onto Social Security rolls during the first six months of 2018, compared to 2017. I think that is significant for us as a small economy trying to create jobs and create employment.”

Regarding self-employed registration, Brantley stated that the data also shows an increase of 31 percent in self-employed registration for the island of Nevis.

During the review period 38 persons registered with Social Security. Of that figure, 12 or 31.6 percent were female and 26 or 68.4 percent were male. On average there were six new registrants per month during the review period.

According to the age distribution analysis, of those registrants 4 or 10.5 percent fell in the 16 to 29 age range; 26 or 68.4 percent fell into the 30 to 40 age range, while 8 or 21.1 percent fell into the 50 to 61 age range.