Most Cubans rely on their government for just about everything, including a job, but President Raul Castro intends to change that. Cuban officials announced Monday that roughly 10 percent of the state-employed work force is getting a pink slip.

The government hopes economic reforms will allow for enough private sector activity to absorb the newly jobless, but in a country that employs 95 percent of its workers, skepticism abounds.

AP via Google:

The layoffs will start immediately and continue through April 2011, according to a statement from the nearly 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation, which is affiliated with the Communist Party and the only labor union allowed by the government. Eventually the state will only employ people in “indispensable” areas such as farming, construction, industry, law enforcement and education.

To soften the blow, the statement — which appeared in state newspapers and was read on television and radio — said the government would increase private-sector job opportunities, including allowing more Cubans to become self-employed. They also will be able to form cooperatives run by employees rather than government administrators, and increasingly lease state land, businesses and infrastructure.

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