Havana, Cuba, Dec 26.- Since 2010, the year when self-employment was boosted in Cuba, the number of self-employed workers has increased threefold.
At present, 444,109 Cubans are self-employed in one of more of the 201 existing modalities, compared to 157,300 three years ago, according to the first deputy minister of Labor and Social Security, Maria Elena Feito.
An increasing number of people have opted for this kind of non-state employment, as November's statistics exceeded the more than 436,342 self-employed workers reported at the end of the first semester of the year, accounting for an increase of 44,763 workers compared to those registered at the beginning of 2013.
Of them, 26 percent are women and 32 percent are youths, so there has been an increase in the number of young workers.
According to the Center for Studies on Youth, Havana, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba are the provinces with the largest number of self-employed youngsters.
In general, six provinces share 65 percent of the total number of workers in the non-state sector: Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba.
Among the most represented activities, Feito mentioned the elaboration and sale of food, cargo and passenger transportation, house rents, and producers-sellers of various home items.
According to statistics from 2012, the number of Cuban workers (in both the state and non-state sectors) amounts to 4,846,647, and the unemployment rate is 3.5 percent. (Prensa Latina)