The announcement made by President Leonel Fernandez last Monday that his administration would create 500,000 jobs has been re-worded by the President’s Press Secretary. According to today’s papers, the presidential spokesperson told reporters that what the President really meant was that during his administration the nation would see the creation of 500,000 new jobs. The correction was made after the nation’s newspapers trumpeted the news that unemployment would be reduced during 2006 with the creation of these 500,000 new jobs. According to the spokesperson “the President reassured the country that during 2006 he would begin a program to encourage job creation that would develop over the rest of this Presidential period, amounting to nearly 500,000 new jobs.” What Fernandez is apparently looking to accomplish is to achieve a level of unemployment similar to that of the year 2000, when it was just 13.9%. Fernandez argued that if in his previous administration his team was successful in creating 650,000 jobs, it is possible that, starting in the year that has been officially declared the “Year of Job Development”, his team can create half a million new jobs.
While mentioning the spin being put on the Presidential statements, Diario Libre writes about just where the new jobs can be found, while expressing doubt about the 9% growth rate predicted by the President. New jobs are to be found in the construction industry, and in the push given by small and medium businesses, according to the paper. Consultant Henry Hebrard of the National Center for Tax Research told Diario Libre that new jobs will have to come from government sponsored construction projects, from exports spurred by the DR-CAFTA agreement and from tourism, where the DR enjoys a leadership position in the region.