Most of Belize’s GDP comes from tourism. Around 2008, the Belizean economy suffered as a direct result of the economic recession in the U.S., and the subsequent drop off in American tourists. Growth has recovered somewhat in recent years, and the economy grew by 2.5 percent in 2014.
Economic growth has been aided by the discovery of oil in northwest Belize. Oil exports are the next largest component of Belize’s economy, after the tourism and service industry.
Belize also exports sugar, citrus fruit, bananas, and shrimp.
Belize has significant problems with unemployment. The unemployment rate is currently around 14 percent, and the youth unemployment rate is closer to 30 percent. There is a significant wage gap between Belize’s top earners and the majority of the population.
Because tourism is such a large part of the economy, almost 70 percent of Belize’s jobs are in the service industry. Banana exports are the second-largest source of employment.
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