Nearly 1,000 apply for NIB benefit

Nearly 1,000 apply for NIB benefit
National Insurance Board headquarters

Unemployment on GB increases post storm

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Just under 1,000 storm victims from both Grand Bahama and Abaco have applied for NIB payouts in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, according to Minister of National Insurance Brensil Rolle.

Rolle told Eyewitness News Online the number was likely to climb.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Services revealed yesterday there has been a significant increase in unemployment on Grand Bahama as employers announced to employees that their businesses have been shuttered due to the storm’s catastrophic impact on September 1-3.

The revelation was made in the National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) daily update on storm recovery and reconstruction efforts.

“The Department of Social Services continues their assessment of the state of homes on the island of Grand Bahama following the passing of Hurricane Dorian,” the update read.

“According to Mrs. Paula Marshall, assistant director of the department, they are close to wrapping up their assessment of homes in West Grand Bahama and will soon return their focus to East Grand Bahama, where they will continue the work the department has started there.

“Mrs. Marshall noted that as they continue their assessment, they are finding that more individuals are in a state of depression due to the lack of employment.

The update continued: “With more people getting word from their employers that the business has been closed, it has increased the number of unemployed people on the island.

“Mrs. Marshall said this increase in unemployment has placed a severe strain on the Department of Social Services, as these individuals are seeking assistance from the department.”

The economy in Grand Bahama already had challenges before the deadly storm hit the island.

While overall visitor arrivals were also reportedly increasing and the unemployment rate of the island was decreasing, the impact of hurricanes past still lingered.

The Department of Statistics’ latest Labour Force report – released in August – stated 32,825 people made up the labor force in Grand Bahama during the time of the most recent survey.

Of that number 29,235 were listed as employed and 3,590 were listed as unemployed.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 10 percent in May 2018 to 9.5 percent in May 2019.

“Two of the three most populated islands that were surveyed experienced decreases in their unemployment rates, and one experienced an increase,” the department advised.

“At the time of the survey, the rate in New Providence was 9.4 percent; and in Grand Bahama 10.9 percent.”

When compared to May 2018 survey, Abaco’s unemployment rate saw a decrease from 10.7 percent to 9.3 percent in May 2019.

However, when compared to the November 2018 survey, the rate saw an increase in joblessness from 7.7 percent to 9.3 percent over the six-month period.

During the latest survey, 14,620 people made up the Abaco labor force, of which 13,265 were employed and 1,355 were unemployed at the time.