A prominent Fiji economist says the latest employment data released by the government paints a picture that's far rosier than the reality.
The Bureau of Statistics last week released the findings of its preliminary employment survey, which shows unemployment at 5.5 percent, which the government says is the lowest rate in 15 years.
But Professor Wadan Narsey said poring through the bureau's data paints a different picture, and doesn't provide an accurate account of the economy's struggles.
"Unemployed are being defined by the ILO definition which is that unemployed people are those who are not working and who say they are looking for work."
"The difficulty is that a lot of employment in Fiji is underemployment - people are working two hours, three hours a day. The problem is that the way unemployment is defined simply excludes a lot of people in Fiji, just as in Solomons and Vanuatu as well," he said.