The Contrast of Jamaica> Vacation vs Living

Many of us arrive to Jamaica on holiday for the first time, and literally fall in love with the country. We leave vowing to return the following year, and many proceed to do just that.

You arrive from Belgium, Germany, Canada, Japan and the United States, with images you have stored in your head of Jamaica from television, or tourist advertising video’s after Jamaican runners blaze trails at International track events. “I am going to see where such great talent as Usain Bolt & Asa Powell lives, you tell people willing to listen.”

So you arrive at Montegobay Airport after several hours in flight, anxiously ready for a good time.

This is the land where Bob Marley lived, “yeah mon” The hotel shuttle bus arrives sixty minutes late to take you to your hotel, its’ hot as ever, but no problem you tell yourself, I am on vacation.

Your vacation involves, sun, sand, extensive drinking and living in beach wear for the next ten or twelve days. You wear sarong skirts, flip flop rubber slippers, beach hats etc. “life is good here in the tropics, you tell anybody willing to listen” The  drum pan- chicken is great, the jerk lobster at Hellshire  Beach is to die for,  the rum punch at Appleton Estates is a permanent memory you will never forget, and !!!!!!!

Several trips or years later you arrive in Kingston to live, perhaps bringing many of the same sarong type skirts and flowered print shirts you wore in Negril or Montego bay while on vacation.

You may now be wondering, “can this be the same place, that I fell in love with and decided to move to?” “This is surely not the Jamaica I saw while I was on vacation as a tourist you tell yourself, I can barely understand what people are saying to me, this never happened while I was staying at Sandals  beach resort” You have now been here for a few months and abit confused.


Kingstons’ reality allows you to see more of  Jamaicas’ day to day life, away from Ocho Rios, Negril Montegobay and all inclusive hotels. The truth is, you may choose to not live in Kingston the city, but you will need to find out how to acquire a work permit, how to get a tax Id  TRN number,  and where to find furniture and appliances for the place you have leased.

The word ” soon come, or pon dee road ”  will now become part of your new vocabulary.

Welcome indeed, this is the real Jamaica.

Many people decide to live in Jamaica because they love the dynamic energy, and vibe of the culture.Yet, there are those who decide that this is country is far too difficult for them to manage and bolt in less than a year.

The key to moving to Jamaica, is research, research, research and talk to several people who have moved here from the outside, and then decide if this is a country you can call home.

Job losses soar in Sunny Jamaica:

People considering a move to Jamaica with the hopes of gaining employment, need to be aware of the current economic temperature. If you are an individual being hired by a Multinational company  such as (KPMG, Red Stripe, or Digicel) and your position appears secure, then you should be fine providing your contract is honored for the duration.

You may also be a self employed person or returning resident wanting to relocate to Jamaica to take advantage of a business opportunity, or simply have a change in lifestyle.

Being aware of the day to occurrences on the island and doing extensive research is  always highly encouraged.

The following story was on the front page of today’s newspaper.

Job losses soar – Up to 30,000 sent home since start of the economic crisis


Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

As the industrial relations landscape continues to take a battering from the stormy economic climate, it is estimated that up to 30,000 Jamaicans have lost their jobs since the global crisis unleashed its effects over a year ago.

Prominent players in the labour arena are agreeing that the number of casualties from job losses continues to soar with each passing day.

President of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Wayne Chen, told The Gleaner that a conservative estimate of the number of persons who have been sent home had climbed to between 25,000 and 30,000 Jamaicans since the onset of the crisis.

Chen said the number at April 2009 – the start of the financial year – stood at in excess of 20,000.

The JEF boss suggested that the figure could be far in excess of this amount because of the size of the informal economy, which was difficult to measure.

The formal economy

“It’s (the figure) fluid because of the size of the informal economy … so the figure we have is confined to the formal economy,” Chen said.

Veteran trade unionist Clive Dobson agreed.

He said that while the precise figures are difficult to determine, it was clear that more than 25,000 Jamaicans have been pushed out of work.

Labour and Social Security Minister Pearnel Charles, acknowledging that the actual redundancy figure should be around 20,000, said the numbers obtained by his ministry were calculated from data taken from people who have registered under the ministry’s redundancy requirements.

The labour minister said the data were compiled from larger firms which have been forced to make positions redundant because of the financial crisis.

He said small businesses were less likely to register with the ministry.

The continued fallout in the bauxite sector and the scaling down of businesses in the tourist resorts, along with smaller companies throughout the island, have had a ripple effect on employment.

There is yet to be any fallout from the island’s largest employer, the Government, but the prospects for the next financial year look grim.

Public-sector workers are protected by the latest memorandum of understanding between the Government and the trade-union movement.

However, the Government is under pressure to reduce the $125-billion wage bill it is required to fork out.

The wage bill, which has increased from $84 billion since the JLP administration came to office two years ago, represents 10.8 per cent of GDP.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said it is desirable that the figure be reduced and the International Monetary Fund has reportedly recommended that the figure should stand no higher than 9.5 per cent of GDP.

Golding has indicated that public-sector workers would be protected until the end of the 2009-2010 financial year.