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Bali's Soaring Unemployment Levels Cause Concern

Local Economist Sees 4.8% Unemployment Level at Near-Crisis Level.

(5/1/2005) Current statistics from the Department of Manpower estimate that Bali's unemployment level stands at 144,000 workers, approximately 4.8% of the island's entire population.

According to the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Bali's Udayana University, Drs. Made Kembar Sri Budhi, an unemployment level approaching 5% in Bali should be viewed by all as very critical.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Drs. Budhi sees the salvation of Bali's workers resting firmly with three sectors of the economy namely tourism, agriculture and small industry.

The Need to Support Tourism

Pointing out that Bali's tourism is slowly returning to life, the respected Economist said that no efforts should be spared in guaranteeing the safety of holidaymakers in Bali. In the same vein, he said the Government must be prepared and able to handle rumors surrounding outbreaks of contagious diseases that have the potential of frightening potential visitors away from the Island.

Agricultural and Handicraft Sectors

He also called on the Government to pay attention to Bali's farmers, ensuring that markets for produce offering fair rates of return are preserved and developed. Similarly, Drs. Budhi said credit facilities must be simplified for handicraft producers in order to stimulate job creation in that sector.