Number of Self-employed in Cuba is Dropping
Number of Self-employed in Cuba is Dropping / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata
Posted on January 12, 2016
14ymedio Zunilda Mata, Havana, 11 January 2016 – The number of
self-employed workers in Cuba decreased throughout 2015, as confirmed by
the official press on Monday. In the middle of last year there were
504,600 people working for themselves, while at the end of December the
number was 496,400.
Of those working in the private sector, 65% are in the provinces of
Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Camaguey, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba,
as detailed in a report by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Among the activities with the greatest weight in the private sector are
preaparing and selling food, with 56,270 licenses granted; the transport
of freight and passengers with 50,482 self-employed workers; and the
leasing of houses, rooms and spaces with a total of 28,634 self-employed
These occupations are followed by telecommunication agents, which total
24,195 across the island, while contract workers total 114,000, 22% of
In its report, the ministry states that of the total number of people
authorized to be self-employed, at least 17% are paid by the state
sector. Youth and women account for 30% of all self-employed in the
country and retirees represent 12%.
At present, there are just over 200 activities approved for this type of
non-state labor. The high taxes, the absence of a wholesale market, the
excessive controls and the inability to import commercial goods, hinder
the performance of the sector.
The decrease in the number of self-employed could be interpreted as
hitting the “natural limit” in self-employment since the flexibilities
initiated in 2010. However, specialists at the Ministry of Labor and
Social Security expect the number to grow “gradually,” and that added to
this form of management will be “a set of dining establishments and
services to the population” that will remain under state ownership.
Source: Number of Self-employed in Cuba is Dropping / 14ymedio, Zunilda
Mata | Translating Cuba –