Bermuda’s current unemployment rate is greater than it was anticipated at Phase 4 according to the Minister of Labour Jason Hayward.

Speaking at the latest COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, he said there iwas a larger pool of the Island’s workforce was expected back on the jobs along with the gradual opening of the economy however a sizeable portion had failed to materialize just yet.

“Certainly we have a rough estimate,” said Minister Hayward.

“As I’ve discussed tonight 3,802 applicants will be moving off the system and we’ll still have 1,155 applicants on the system.

“Those are unemployed individuals who are receiving the benefits or moving from receiving benefits.

“Then you have those persons that are currently on financial assistance that are unemployed and then you have persons that are unemployed who do not qualify.

“So it’s roughly over 6,000 individual and it’s safe to assume that our unemployment rate is between 15 and 20 percent, which is alarming, because what we would have thought is that transitioning into Phase Four more persons would have been returned back to the workforce.

“But as we discussed we have strategies in place to ensure that it provides support to those that need it.”

Stay tuned to further updates on this story.