A peak union body in Fiji says it strongly doubts the government's claims that unemployment in the Pacific nation has fallen.
Earlier this week Fiji's Labour Minister, Jone Usamate, told local media that the unemployment rate has dropped based on the number of vacancies available in the market.
But the national secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Felix Anthony, believes unemployment and under-employment is at its highest level ever.
He has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat there has been a "drastic reduction in employment" in every sector including the sugar, tourism, mining and construction industries.
"In fact, the most affected is the construction industry," he said.
"We hardly have any major projects onhand other than government infrastructure development programs, but these are mostly done by foreign workers and very little local employment is provided in these areas."
Although there are currently no official figures on Fiji's employment rate, Mr Anthony says the country has seen a significant rise in poverty.
"We have seen more than 60 per cent of workers are paid below the poverty line, and some well below the poverty line...this has been a major concern for us."