Video: Ministers On Reemployment Initiatives

October 25, 2021

[Updated] Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert and Minister of Labour Jason Hayward are holding a press conference this afternoon [Oct 25] to “provide updates on the Bermuda Job Market and Reemployment Initiatives.” We will have additional information later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

“It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on economies worldwide, and Bermuda is no exception. The 32,427 total filled jobs are at the lowest levels recorded since 1985,” Minister Hayward said.

Minister Furbert said that “total filled jobs declined by 1,951 jobs or 5.7% from 34,378 jobs in 2019 to 32,427 in 2020.”

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 28-minute replay is below

Update 4.28pm: Minister Hayward’s remarks:

Thank you, Minister Furbert and good day to members of the media and the general public.

It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on economies worldwide, and Bermuda is no exception. The 32,427 total filled jobs are at the lowest levels recorded since 1985. Our current economic downturn has disproportionately impacted young workers and service workers.

Despite these challenges, the Bermuda Government has remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting Bermuda’s workers. We will continue to implement strategic and effective policy solutions that will address the challenges many Bermudians face as a result of the pandemic.

Social Protections

The Ministry of Labour continues to provide social protections through the Financial Assistance program and the Supplementary Unemployment Benefit program, designed for persons who have been displaced from the workforce due to the pandemic.

The Financial Assistance program provides funding for basic necessities such as housing, food, and healthcare. In comparison, the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit is an income replacement of $1520 plus health insurance for persons who do not qualify for Financial Assistance but require financial support.

Individuals can access the Supplementary Unemployment Benefit applications on the Government portal or collected from the Department of Financial Assistance, located on the first floor of Global House, 43 Church Street, Hamilton.

National Reemployment Strategy

In response to the economic crisis, the Ministry of Labour unveiled the National Reemployment Strategy in September 2020, designed to get Bermudians across multiple job sectors back to work. The overarching objectives of this strategy are threefold: to reduce current unemployment, prevent future unemployment, and facilitate the ease of finding employment.

In order to meet these objectives, the strategy focuses on:

  • Enhancing the supply of labour; and
  • Building a more robust workforce through information, training and education

Today, I am pleased to provide an update on the work executed thus far by the Department of Workforce Development in supporting Bermudians in their endeavours to secure employment.

As of the 30th of September, exactly 12 months since the launch of Phase 1:

  • Over seven hundred and fifty [750] persons have participated in various face-to-face, online, on-the-job, virtual learning, webinars, internships, apprenticeships and trainee programmes.
  • Approximately eighty [80] individuals have received part-time or full-time employment due to these training initiatives.
  • The number of unemployed Bermudians receiving employment opportunities through the Department of Workforce Development’s Bermuda Job Board referral process continues to grow and now numbers seven hundred and fifty-seven [757].

Since the implementation of Phase 2, we have been working towards maintaining the initiatives launched in Phase 1 while also increasing the number of employed Bermudians. The strategy of training, reskilling, and utilizing the transferable skills of unemployed Bermudians has remained our core focus. It will better equip the pool of unemployed persons to take advantage of opportunities in specific restricted and closed categories in the job market. These industry-driven initiatives will continue to focus on connecting training with employment opportunities in high demand occupations required now and into the future.

We all owe our thanks to the team at the Department of Workforce Development who continue to implement the following initiatives:

  • 1. Economic Stimulus Programme Jobs Initiative;
  • 2. Industry-Driven Network Partnerships;
  • 3. Training and Development Programmes;
  • 4. Employer and Industry Engagement; and
  • 5. Youth Development and Employment Initiatives.

I can report that through our ongoing appeals to those who are unemployed, the number of Bermudians registered on the Bermuda Job Board has increased. As of September 30, the number stood at four hundred and forty-four, an increase of over 174 since the last update in June 2021.

The Department will continue to follow a three-step process with all persons registered, which includes:

  • 1. Complete assessments;
  • 2. Referring suitable candidates to employers for potential employment opportunities; and
  • 3. Providing the support needed, such as résumé development, interview skills, and coaching, to assist candidates in achieving their employment goals.

Immigration Policy

Please note that the Ministry’s Department of Immigration will be extending the occupational categories that are included under the current list of Closed Category jobs per Section 3.6 of the currently published Work Permit Policy for an additional three [3] months through to January 31st, 2022 with the exception of residential and commercial cleaners which will be moved from the Closed list and placed on the Restricted list.

The partner of a Bermudian, Permanent Resident Certificate holder, Non-Bermudian on a work permit, or other legal residents of Bermuda will generally be allowed to reside in Bermuda but not to seek employment until further advised by the Ministry of Labour.

Through our National Economic Recovery Plan, the Government will take decisive action to restore consumer and business confidence and stimulate our economy, creating a clear path to growth and employment. A robust economy with an increase in jobs is a vital component to getting Bermudians back to work. To that end, the Ministry will continue working toward implementing its policy objectives in alignment with the National Economic Recovery Plan.

Thank you.

At this time, we welcome questions from the media.

Update 8.28pm: Minister Wayne Furbert’s remarks:

I am joined by the Minister of Labour, the Hon. Jason Hayward, JP, MP, to discuss Bermuda’s filled jobs and workforce.

Today, I will highlight The Bermuda Job Market Employment Briefs report from the Department of Statistics, and Minister Hayward will speak to the continued effort of his Ministry to support, train and guide our workforce.

This latest edition of The Bermuda Job Market Employment Briefs examines employment changes from 2019 and 2020.

This particular report provides a snapshot of employment in Bermuda during the week of August 30th to September 5th 2020.

Just some general background, the annual Employment Survey is a census of all businesses on the island. It serves the purpose of providing a broad count of all filled jobs in the Bermuda labour market. Users are cautioned against making direct comparisons with the Labour Force Survey and census results because the results are not comparable. The age of jobholders is not limited to persons sixteen years and older, as is the case for the working population in the Labour Force Survey and the census reports. In addition, the employment counts presented in this publication represent all filled jobs. In contrast, the Labour Force Survey and census provide the number of people working in their main job, irrespective of the number of jobs held.

As I indicated, data collected for this report was from a week in late August to early September.

As we know last year was particularly difficult, where many businesses, employers and employees were affected by the challenges in our economy and labour market due to the pandemic.


So it’s important to understand and appreciate the context and background as we review and assess these statistics.

The overall level of employment was impacted by economic contractions caused by the pandemic.

The 2020 employment total includes 730 jobs whose holders were made redundant during the reference week.

While the main findings of this report focus on employment changes between 2019 and 2020 the report also shows employment changes between 2016 and 2019.

Prior to the pandemic, Bermuda was experiencing encouraging job growth with employment on an upward trajectory from 33,481 filled jobs in 2016 to 34,378 in 2019, an increase of nearly 900 jobs.

The industrial groups that fueled the job growth during this period were the Accommodation and Food Service Activities sector with an increase of 562 jobs, the Construction and Quarrying sector, up 261 jobs and Public Administration with 212 more jobs over the four-year pre-pandemic period.


As it stands, key highlights between 2019 and 2020 are as follows:

  • Total filled jobs declined by 1,951 jobs or 5.7% from 34,378 jobs in 2019 to 32,427 in 2020.
  • Males and females registered 1,076 and 875 fewer filled jobs, respectively, while Bermudians and other Non-Bermudians recorded job losses of 1,091 and 666, respectively.
  • The number of jobs held by blacks, whites and persons of mixed and other races dropped by 902,577 and 472 filled jobs, respectively.
  • Filled jobs within the Accommodations and Food Services Industry contracted 23.4% [-1,100] to 3,591.
  • Filled jobs among Service Workers, and Shop and Market Sales Workers declined by 15.9% [-1,183] from 7,427 jobs to 6,244.
  • The median gross annual income for all job holders increased by 3.8% [+$2,375] from $62,693 to $65,068. The year-over-year percentage increase in median employment income exceeded the annual average inflation rate of -0.7% in August 2020.

Lastly, I wish to emphasize that this Government remains committed to investing in our people, encouraging small business development and growing our economy, despite the challenges that we face.

In closing, I want to thank all the businesses that completed the annual Employment Surveys.

More in-depth cross-tabulations on Bermuda’s job market are published in the 2020 Employment Survey Tabulation Set.

The 2021 Employment Briefs and the Tabulation Set are available on the Bermuda Government website at

Thank you.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Question says:

    Nail technicians? What else?

  2. Ringmaster says:

    The number of jobs are the same as 1985. That by itself is horrendous, but what is not said, and won’t be unless the Government is held accountable, is how many are in the private sector compared to the public sector. no wonder Bermuda is in a death spiral. There is no way the depleted private sector can support the needless expense of today’s public sector, not just wages and salaries but benefits that the private sector can only dream of. More borrowing on top of debt that will never begin to be repaid will only increase the pain that is to come.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Here’s a suggestion to Furbert. Start a coffee shop and employ 3 Bermudians. Will never happen for 2 reasons. First he wouldn’t know how to do it, and second why when he collects a multiple thousand dollar paycheck to doing nothing but appear in photo shoots promoting Buy Overseas.

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert and Minister of Labour Jason Hayward are holding a press conference this afternoon [Oct 25] to “provide updates on the Bermuda Job Market and Reemployment Initiatives.””

    The Minister for the Cabinet Office is an expert at finding jobs. He went from Leader of the UBP to backbench PLP to PLP Minister of the Cabinet Office. If anyone can find a job, Wayne can!