It seems the policy campaign the Unity Party-led government developed lately at the end of the first regime of the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regarding Liberia’s unemployment status is irritating to critics and the unemployed.
“These people keep fooling us. How can they speak to convince us about vulnerable employment thereby reducing Liberia’s unemployment rate from 85% to 3.7% when they were the very ones during Charles Taylor’s regime who used such unemployment rate to criticize the regime at the time? Some of us feel irritated when people who are gainfully employed and enjoy our taxpayers’ money want us to believe that because we’re doing petty businesses it means we fall under vulnerable employment,” a desperate petty trader told the In Profile Daily Wednesday morning in Monrovia.
The petty trader said President Sirleaf’s laughter on the Capitol Building recently during her State of the Nation Address when she mentioned about what she has been told about unemployment in post-war Liberia was a mockery of the pains and agonies Liberians who are not employed are going through daily amidst current economic hardships in the country.
“The people are using developed countries’ standard to determine the unemployment status of Liberia, when in the first place, labor practices in Liberia are still crude and inhumane,” a labor economist claimed.
Close to the end of 2012, it became debatable that the provision of twenty thousand jobs which President Sirleaf said would be available each year during her second regime would come to pass.
However, the Ministry of Labor was of recent quoted in the media claiming that during the year in review, more than twenty thousand jobs were created; some of which reportedly came from the private sectors.
Visibly, the Liberian Government through the Ministries of Labor and Public Works as well as agencies such as LACE, Liberia Maritime Authority, among others, have provided short-term jobs that are youth-based, mostly for students to ease the issue of unemployment.
Nevertheless, the creation of permanent jobs for the unemployed appears to be an uphill task for the government especially as various universities in the country continue to put out graduates in different disciplines without jobs.
“It saddens me that my president would laugh when talking about job creation during a national speech; again, I guess I should not have expected much…right?” lamented Sayba, who claimed to be an unemployed college graduate, currently ‘hustling’ at Red Light.