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The Nicaragua Canal and jobs:how many and for whom?

News from Nicaragua | Friday, 16 January 2015 | Click here for original article

According to the latest estimate by the HKND Group, the Chinese company that holds the concession for the canal, the building of the canal will create 50,000 jobs, half of which will be for Nicaraguans and the other half Chinese and other nationalities.

Economist Adolfo Acevedo noted that the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that between 2015 and 2020, some 353,200 Nicaraguans will enter the labour force and therefore the 25,000 canal jobs will absorb barely 7% of those workers. He went on to point out that Chinese workers are likely to import their food and other needs directly from China and save their salaries or send much of that money home to their families rather than spend it in Nicaragua. This would reduce the amount of indirect employment.

However, Roberto Gonzalez, general secretary of the Sandinista Workers Central (CST) pointed out the wider potential for employment generation through the subprojects. These include ports, roads, hotels, airports, and housing, which will require Nicaraguan workers in large numbers during and after construction. He estimated that up to 250,000 permanent workers will be required.