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Cuba to cut 500,000 state jobs, will allow private sector jobs

By Andrew Moran     Sep 13, 2010 in Business
Havana - The government of Cuba has announced that it will cut 500,000 state jobs over the next six months in order to allow the private sector create employment. Is this the end of socialism and the beginning of free-market economics in Cuba?
On Monday, Cuba announced that it will let go at least half a million state employees by March 2011 and allow the private sector to create more employment, according to the Associated Press. This latest decision comes as the Cuban economy struggles to grow.
In the future, more than one million jobs will be cut and there will be less state employment positions. According to government statistics, 85 percent, or 5 million, of the Cuban workforce was employed by 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 Cuban labor federation said in a statement, reports MSNBC. “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.”
CNN International notes that the Cuban state media did not report which sector would grow or be cut but rather they analyzed the economic situation:
“Within the state sector, it will only be possible to fill the jobs that are indispensable in areas where historically the labor force is insufficient, like agriculture, construction, teachers, police, industrial workers and others.”
President Raul Castro had pledged in August to shed one-fifth of the state workforce over the next five years but the announcement has confirmed it will be in a much shorter timeframe. In 2006, after taking office from Fidel, the President has implemented few free-market reforms.
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