Country Economic Analysis Report
When most people hear about Jamaica, they will often think of the sunny beaches and the carefree lifestyle that the country is known for. Yet, beneath the surface there is a side of the country that exposes a number of different issues, which affect the well being for millions of ordinary Jamaicans, most notably runaway crime and corruption. Where, the various criminal organizations have become engrained in the highest levels of the government. A good example of this can be seen with the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke. He was wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges. At first, the U.S. asked the Jamaican authorities to extradite him, the government refused (citing a lack of evidence). After it was getting to the point that the Jamaican government could be in violation of treaty obligations and possibly being listed as narco state by the U.S. government; they decided to extradite Coke. However, the process of arresting him would result in a police shoot out, with Coke’s supporters, in the poor neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens, killing 70 people. (“Details Emerge on Dudus Coke Arrest,” 2010) This is significant, because it shows how two different worlds can exist in Jamaica, as the tourists will one side, while the underlying economic well being could be much worse. To determine underlying amounts of prosperity in the country; requires comparing a number of different pieces of information. This will be accomplished by looking at: the GDP, Per Capita GDP, the GDP growth rate, the GDP composition by sector, the labor force, the labor force by occupation, the population below the poverty line, the unemployment rate, the inflation rate and the human development index rankings. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insight, as to the overall economic well being of the country.
The GDP purchasing power of Jamaica is $23.8 billion. (“Jamaica,’ 2010) This is considerably smaller than the United States, which has a GDP purchasing power of $14.14 trillion. (“Country Comparison GDP Purchasing Power Parity,” 2010)
Per Capita GDP
The per capita GDP of Jamaica is: $8,400.00. (“Jamaica,” 2010) In comparison with the U.S., this number is much lower, with America having a per capita GDP of $46,000.00. (“United States,” 2010)
GDP Growth Rate
The GDP growth rate for Jamaica was lower than that of the United States in 2009. (“Jamaica,” 2010) With the country seeing: a decline of -2.8%, while the U.S. would see GDP growth coming in at -2.6%. (“United States,” 2010)
GDP Composition by Sector
The GDP composition by sector is different for both countries. As Jamaica is mainly dependent upon services; where, this accounts for 63.9% of the GDP, followed by industry coming in at 30.1% and agriculture 6.0%. (“Jamaica,” 2010) The U.S. is more heavily focused on services, with this accounting for 76.9% of the GDP. This is followed by: industry (coming in at 21.9%) and agriculture (accounting for 1.2%). (“United States,” 2010)
The labor force of Jamaica is currently 1.311 million people. (“Jamaica,” 2010) While the labor force of the United States is 154.2 million. (“United States,” 2010)
Labor Force by Occupation
The labor force by occupation for Jamaica would include: 64% working in services, 19% in industry and 17% in agriculture. (“Jamaica,” 2010) In the U.S. The labor force is divided differently with: 37% working in managerial / professional positions, 24.2% in sales / services, 20.3% in manufacturing, 17.6% in other services and .7% in farming. (“United States,” 2010)
Population below the Poverty Line
The total population that is living below the poverty line in Jamaica is: 14.8%. (“Jamaica,” 2010) In the United States this number is: 12.0%. (“United States,” 2010)
The unemployment rate for Jamaica is: 12.6%. While the unemployment rate for the United States is: 9.3%
The inflation rate for Jamaica is 9.6% and -.3% for the U.S. (“Jamaica,” 2010) (“United States,” 2010)
Human Development Index Rankings
As far as the general human development index is concerned, Jamaica ranks at 100 out of 182 countries. (“Jamaica,” 2009) However, when you look at the specific categories, it is clear that that the country has varying results. Evidence of this, can be seen in the three categories of: life expectancy (where Jamaica posts an average age of 71.7 years old), adult literacy (with Jamaica posting a rate of 86.0%) and per capita income (as the country has a PPP of $6,079.00). (“Human Development Report 2009 Rankings,” 2009)
Clearly, Jamaica is a developing country that has a number of different obstacles to overcome a few of the most notable includes: high unemployment, a lack of diversification in the economy and a high inflation rate. When you put these different elements together, it underscores how Jamaica is a representation of two worlds, one that is the image the tourists will see and another that faces severe economic challenges in trying to develop.
Country Comparison GDP Purchasing Power Parity. (2010). CIA World Fact Book. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html?countryName=Jamaica&countryCode=jm®ionCode=ca&rank=114#jm
Details Emerge on Dudus Coke Arrest. (2010). Repeating Islands. Retrieved from: http://repeatingislands.com/2010/06/23/details-emerge-on-dudus-coke%E2%80%99s-arrest/
Human Development Report 2009 Rankings. (2009). Human Development Report. Retrieved from: http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/
Jamaica. (2010). CIA World Fact Book. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jm.html
Jamaica. (2009). Human Development Report. Retrieved from: http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_JAM.html
United States. (2010). CIA World Fact Book. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html
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