What Are The Most Common Jobs In Cuba?

Cuban jobs can be placed in two distinctive groups, based on whether you work for yourself, or you work for the government.

What Are The Most Common Jobs In Cuba?

Because of the revolution that took place in 1959, the majority of Cubans today do work for their government.

The education system remains free, but a return is expected. This is essentially what determines where they will work in the future, and what their pay will be. 

Many Cubans have to work in an array of poorly paid positions, just to make sure that their children are able to have the necessities.

Some are forced to work on the black market, when they are unable to gather the necessary cash.

To find out more about what kinds of jobs people have in Cuba, take a look below, as we delve into the topic. 

Economic Background

The Cuban government continues to try and strike a balance between the desire for political dominion and loosening the socialist economic system.

The first Cuban communist congress was held in 2011, with the last one being held nearly 13 years ago.

Some economic reforms have taken place in the following years, and Cubans have gradually been granted more and more access to technology and various luxuries. 

Cubans now have permission to stay in hotels, along with being granted access to mobile devices.

State sector jobs have been cut as a portion of the reformation process, and some people now own their own businesses via retail stores.

This has led to approximately 500,000 Cubans being recognized as self-employed. 

There has also been progress made in the agricultural sector, with some people now being allowed to sell their own items to hotels and businesses.

People are also now allowed to sell vehicles.

Unfortunately, however, it is still estimated that 75% of the workforce is still employed by the state. 

It is clear that the country is still trying to recover from the decline of 1989, where the loss of Soviet subsidies showed the weaknesses of the economy.

In addition to this, a series of different events have contributed to the lack of wealth in the country, these include the increase in petrol prices, loss of tourism, and the hurricane of 2001. 

What Are Cuba’s Top Industries?

In terms of what jobs people are working in Cuba, there are a few major industries that are available to people.

The first is energy production, then agriculture, industry, service, foreign investment, and trade. 

Because in 1993, it was made legal for people living in Cuba to use the U.S dollar bill, it has now become the major form of currency in the region.

This, however, has ensured that the gap between the rich and poor has been massively increased.

This is why, if you are travelling in a taxi, or being waited on my somebody in Cuba, they might actually be doctors of lawyers, but choose to work retail and service based jobs because they want tips and a dollar salary. 

Can Other People Find Work In Cuba?

What Are The Most Common Jobs In Cuba?

If you want to find a job in Cuba in order to settle in the country, it is actually quite difficult to do this.

First of all, jobs are incredibly scarce in the country, and also many jobs in the retail industry are reserved only for Cuban people. 

You will need to get a work permit before you decide to go there, but if you have a freelance job doing something such as freelance writing, photography, or journalism. 

What Is Exported In Cuba?

The main items which are imported into Cuba include food, fuel, and machinery.

The main thins which are exported from the region include sugar, tobacco, refined fuels, nickel and pharmaceutical products.

Below you will find a list of the highest ranking items exported from the region in 2021. 

  • Tobacco
  • Nickel
  • Sugar
  • Ores
  • Beverages (alcoholic and also vinegar)
  • Fish
  • Mineral fuels like oil
  • Wood
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Dairy products such as eggs 
  • Honey

In terms of growth, fish was the product which has the greatest increase in the export category, rising up from 67% from the years 2020 to 2021.

After this, dairy products, eggs, and honey were the second fastest growing products, rising 57.2%. 

What Is Tourism Like In Cuba? 

What Are The Most Common Jobs In Cuba?

As we mentioned before, Cuba has undergone periods of economic decline as a result of a lack of tourism to the region.

Despite this, tourism still remains one of the main sources of wealth that the region depends on to stay afloat.

During the 1990’s, tourism was actually responsible for generating more money for the region that sugar production. 

The amount of tourists visiting the country each year continues to increase, with more and more interest in the region being demonstrated.

In the year of 2017, there were approximately 4.7 million tourists who visited Cuba.

This was a spectacular increase from the previous year, demonstrating a 16.5% increase.

In terms of profit, this generated around $3.5 billion for the region. 

What Is The Highest Paying Job In Cuba?

For those who are looking to earn a lot of money in the region, the highest paying jobs are found in the medical field.

It is clear that there is a massive discrepancy between the rich and the poor, as some people in the medical field earn up anything from 50,000 and 90,000.

Another career which is incredibly lucrative is the regional director of operations, which has a salary of $43,500.

This is quite significant considering how many people are forced to work on the black market because they can’t afford to feed their families. 

The Black Market

The Cuban black market, which is also known as bolsa, by those living there, consists of people who have to make up for the governments shortfalls.

The way the products that are sold on the black market are acquired, are by stealing items sold in markets that have not been nailed down.

These goods are then taken and re-sold. 

Because it is an illegal practice, those selling items have to be incredibly discreet.

Some people sell their wares by knocking on people’s doors, while others sell them on the street, wearing coats that conceal the products. 

Is Cuba A Third World Country? 

No Cuba is not considered a third world country.

First world countries include Japan, the United States, South Korea, and Western Europe.

The second world countries, of which Cuba is a part of, consist of the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, and Vietnam. 

Final Thoughts

There is a wide gap between those who are rich, and those who are poor in modern Cuba.

In order to have access to the U.S dollar, many highly educated people are forced to work in retail and other service based jobs.

The poorest of the poor resort to working on the black market in order to provide for their families. 

Jim Stanton
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