Facts, not fiction

It’s important to base policy decisions on facts, not fiction.  Are the job declines due to the recession or policy decisions?  Has immigration policy accelerated or decelerated the downturn?  Should term limits be scrapped?  I’m sure you’ve got an opinion, but what do the facts say?

Well according to the Cayman Islands Department of Immigartion Quarterly Statistical Report for December 2011, the number of work permit holders rose by 821 from 2010 to 2011. That’s 19,106 in 2010, 19,927 in 2011.  What about Bermuda’s situation?  Well, the Bermuda 2012 Employment Brief (released really early this year, thanks for your hard work Stats Dept) suggests that in Bermuda the number of Other non-Bermudians declined by 691, that’s 9065 in 2010 and 8374 in 2011.

At least when it comes foreign workers, Cayman is experiencing job growth while Bermuda experiences declines.  The question will be that when the Cayman island’s own labour force report is released at the end of this month, what will it say about the local workforce.  Will their policies have been a net positive for Caymanians or not?  I’m sure you’ve got an opinion, but shelve that, it’s best we wait for the facts instead.

A commenter in today’s Royal Gazette article on the job declines in 2011 states a commonly held perception

The Cayman Islands, which does not have term limits, expats are able to buy land and their emplyment restrictions are more ‘relaxed’ than Bermuda’s policies. However, IB is still leaving and moving to jurisdictions like Halifax.

The problem is, this is opinion, pure and simple.  It’s easy to take the counter opinion and argue the opposite.  Opinions are easy.  What’s hard is looking up the facts and not letting your opinions be swayed by false perceptions.