According to the latest report of Central Bank, public sector employment fell by 3.3 percent at the end of June 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial institution noted that this position reflected lower employment in Central government by 1.0 percent while the rest of the public sector employment fell by 8.7 percent.
Guyana Standard understands that employment in public corporations declined primarily on account of lower recruitment of 12.7 percent by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO). It was noted by Central Bank that labour unrest, which was confined to GUYSUCO, registered an increase in the number of work stoppages to 50 from 20 at end-June 2019. Additionally, man-days lost were higher at 13,868 from 4,418 at end-June 2019 while wages lost increased to $37.9 million from $13.0 million for the same period last year.
In the private sector, Bank of Guyana said that there was a significant decline in employment, primarily in the services sector (wholesale and retail trade and transportation) due to limited business activities and mobility as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulatory body for the financial sector said that the Public sector minimum wage remained at $70,000 per month while the income tax threshold was unchanged at $65,000 per month during the first half of 2020.
Further to this, the institution said that industry stakeholders can expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have adverse effects on the major economic sectors, resulting in a downward revision of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Guyana Standard understands that Real oil GDP is projected to grow by 52.8 percent from 85.6 percent pre-COVID while Real non-oil GDP is expected to contract due to declines in the services and construction sectors.