THE Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution clearly define the strategy regarding the non-state sector in Cuba: "Broaden work in the non-state sector as another alternative for employment, based on new organizational forms of production and providing services that are established."
This decision not only incorporates new non-state management models as sources of employment, but also outlines sectors in which the guideline could be implemented.
Self-employment in Cuba has become an employment option for many, has revitalized trades that had been forgotten or undervalued, and has lead to growth in economic activities that had been depressed since the 1990s, expanding the availability of goods and services with acceptable quality.
Increased opportunities in self-employment have facilitated restructuring of the workforce, allowing the state to gradually reduce its responsibility in some less critical arenas and concentrate efforts on activities that are decisive to the development of Cuba’s economy.
The state has organized training courses and adjusted legislation to allow the self-employed to conduct their work within a legal framework, with their rights protected, while at the same time closing gaps that, given the lack of experience and other reasons, allowed room for illegalities.
Non-state employment is part of the country’s collective effort to achieve prosperous and sustainable development, along a socialist path, with the participation of all.
Below we offer our readers some key figures regarding the self-employed sector in Cuba:
SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS THROUGH AUGUST 2017
A total of 578,421 individuals are registered as self-employed.
494,442 are working in activities supervised by Labor Ministry authorities.
80,706 are working in activities directed by traffic units of the Ministry of Transportation.
SECTORS WITH THE MOST SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS
61,874 work in food preparation and sales, representing 10% of the workforce in this sector.
57,911 work in cargo and passenger transportation,representing 10% of the workforce in this sector.
39,595 rent dwellings, rooms, or other spaces, representing 7% of the workforce in this sector.
24,744 are telecommunications agents.
150,343 are workers contracted by other self-employed persons, primarily in food services and transport, representing 25% of the workforce in this sector.
WHO ARE THEY?
Retired persons represent 11% of the self-employed, while 16% are working a second job. Youth represent 32% and 33% of self-employed workers are women.
A total of 401,080 workers are registered in the Social Security administration’s special regimen.
(Information from the Ministry of Labor & Social Security)