The 60-80% that are Resigned


I want to make a crazy estimate.

I am guessing that some 60-80% of Jamaicans are in jobs that they dislike.

I have no idea if this is a true estimate, but I think it might just be in the ball-park.

The reasons?

  • An impossible education system that forced decisions at 16 about which 3-4 courses to take at CAPE/A’ levels.
  • The narrow range of options available at UWI.
  • The way jobs are structured
  • Our moribund economy
  • The lack of information about opportunities

They all combine to create a mindset of scarcity in which a job becomes something to hold onto at all costs. People get stuck in careers and in positions for which they are ill-suited, by virtue of their lack of motivation or skill.

The effect on a company’s productivity is cumulatively disastrous, as is the effect on our economy.

I’d be interested in hearing what other opinions are on this topic, and what might be done about it.

I’m not sure how this fits in with books such as Kenneth Carter’s “Why Workers Won’t Work,” except to say that I think he was focused on studying rank and file workers.

(A copy of Framework’s 2-page summary of the book can be obtained by sending email to or by visiting our website under the Ideas section.)