Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Economy of Virgin Islands (U.S.)

During the slave days, the islands cultivated cash crops to earn money. In 1848, the governor granted the slaves emancipation, which was against the wishes of Danish Crown and devastated the economy of the islands.

The economy was boosted in the 1970s due to tourism and manufacturing.

On March 31, 1917, a treaty was concluded in which the United States purchased the islands for $25,000,000.

The islands also receive cross-over subsidies, which generated approximately $100 million for the Virgin Islands in 2008.

With the help of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (a government-owned subsidiary) is bringing broadband internet access to the territory, in an effort to stimulate the technology sector and business generally.

Manufacturing industries developed significantly in the 1970s, especially on St. Croix island. Most industries depend of tax concessions and the financial advantages they derive from being a U.S. territory. An alumina factory processed bauxite until December 2009. The Hovensa oil refinery produced 495,000 barrels per day (78,700 m3/d), and closed down in February 2012.

According to the Virgin Islands' Department of Labor, the size of the local workforce is almost 50,000 people. In 2009, it was reported that the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Hovensa was also a large-scale employer after the government of the Virgin Islands.

Virgin Islands's Department of Labor in collaboration with BIZVI, launched a program called YouthNet, to help at-risk youth to get back on their career track.

No comments: