Cuba to eliminate 500,000 state jobs, spur private sector
Layoffs amount to biggest shift to the private sector since the 1960s
HAVANA — Cuba will let more than 500,000 state employees go by next
March and try to move most to non-state jobs in the biggest shift to the
private sector since the 1960s, the official Cuban labor federation said
The layoffs will start immediately and run through the first half of
next year, according to an announcement Monday by the nearly 3
million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation — the only labor union the
The statement said eventually more than a million jobs would be cut and,
due to efforts to increase efficiency in the state sector, there would
be few new state sector openings.
More than 85 percent of the Cuban labor force, or over 5 million people,
worked for the state at the close of 2009, according to the government.
"Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies,
productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls
(and) losses that hurt the economy," the statement said.
"Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state
employment, among them leasing land, cooperatives and self-employment,
absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years," it said.
According to Communist party sources who have seen the detailed plan to
"reorganize the labor force," Cuba expects to issue 250,000 new licenses
for self-employment by the close of 2011, almost twice the current
number, and create 200,000 other non-state jobs."