In 2020, the employed labour force in the Caribbean Netherlands hardly increased compared to 2018. Saba saw a slight drop in the number of employed. This is evident from the most recent Labour Force Survey Caribbean Netherlands, conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
The Labour Force Survey Caribbean Netherlands (LFS-CN), from which the figures on the number of employed are taken, is held every two years, between October and December. Due to the COVID-19 measures, the survey could not be conducted earlier than between December 2020 and March 2021. Developments in the figures cannot be attributed unambiguously to the coronavirus crisis; changes may have occurred earlier.
The measures that came into effect in mid-March 2020 to combat the spread of coronavirus included closing the airspace of the islands and putting a halt to cruise traffic. As a result, foreign tourism on the islands came to a complete standstill. Island residents were still allowed to move freely on the islands. When the LFS-CN 2020 was carried out, it was possible to travel to the islands by plane again, but not yet by cruise ship. The Dutch government made financial support packages available for workers and companies on the islands that were affected by the restrictive measures.
Saba: public administration remains the sector with most people in work
On Saba, tourism-related sectors such as accommodation and food services and culture, sports and recreation saw almost no shifts in the number of employed compared to 2018. However, the manufacturing industry recorded a slight increase, while the trade sector recorded a decline. Public administration continued to be the largest employer on Saba, followed by education because of the medical university on the island.