The cause of the Bermuda recession

Former Bermuda resident Kevin Comeau has a good piece here on “the cause of Bermuda’s economic collapse” which makes a strong case for the fact that the loss of jobs in international business was the main contributing factor.

On the face of it, he is right. The loss of jobs in international business caused, mostly, the loss of jobs in other sectors. A few were lost because of the downturn in tourism that immediately followed the 2008 economic crisis, but given how tourism’s contribution to the economy had already shrunk, the impact there was less.

It could be argued that even if international business had not shed jobs, we would not see a great deal of office construction, but it is likely that residential, hotel and infrastructure construction would be stronger in a more buoyant economy. And the success of the Green family’s Waterloo building suggests there is still some appetite for new Grade A office space. But the tenants who went there almost all came from other offices in Hamilton, not as a result of new economic growth.

But these are minor quibbles – Comeau’s main argument is on the money. He also makes the crucial point that the cause of the job losses was not the global economic crisis, but problems in Bermuda. This is because most of those jobs still exist – they’re just not here any more.

Comeau promises a further article with more detail on why the jobs were moved from here, and that’s the more interesting and controversial question. I’m looking forward to Part II. Like “The Godfather”, this may be one of those times when the sequel is better than the original.

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One Response to The cause of the Bermuda recession

  1. tryangle says:

    As someone who himself was a casualty of an international business moving jobs out of Bermuda and to another country, I always felt that the government of the day could have done things differently to retain or encourage jobs in Bermuda.

    Unfortunately, the domino effect of these companies moving jobs overseas led to hardships all around (the restaurants, grocery stores, landlords), and it’s going to be difficult or even impossible to return to a situation close to what the early 2000s brought to the island.

    Like you mention, there was office development, but we now have a glut of unoccupied office buildings across the city and across Bermuda. Hopefully people far more intelligent than me can provide the ways forward.

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