Nearly 500,000 Cubans are self-employed
Published August 25, 2014 EFE
The number of workers in Cuba’s private sector continues to rise, so by
the end of July there were 471,085 people working for themselves,
according to official data released Monday.
Almost 70 percent of those “autonomous” workers had no previous
employment, Trabajadores, the publication of Cuba’s official CTC labor
federation, said in its latest issue.
Over the past five months, more than 15,500 people were added to the
private sector, which “is getting stronger as a valid employment option
in the economy,” the weekly said.
Food preparation, transport and real estate remain the most frequent
activities among autonomous workers.
Of the total number, 311,000 of the self-employed have social security,
which offers them benefits comparable to those of state workers, such as
weekly days off and protection in case of accident or illness.
Women make up 29 percent of those working for themselves, an amount
similar to that of young people, the deputy director of employment at
the Labor and Social Security Ministry, Idalmys Alvarez, said in the
In September 2013, the Raul Castro administration expanded to 18 the
number of occupations eligible for self-employment, such as those of
realtor, agricultural wholesaler and agent of telecommuncations services
and systems, in that way legalizing activites that had previously been
done in an illegal way in Cuba.
At that time there were 436,000 self-employed workers on the island,
which indicates an increase of 8 percent since then.
Expanding the work done by the private sector is one of the principal
reforms promoted by Castro to “modernize” Cuba’s socialist model and
compensate for the gradual elimination of some 500,000 state jobs
between 2011 and 2015. EFE
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