Colombia’s unemployment rate dropped in November to 7.3%, announced Minhacienda, Colombia’s Finance Ministry, along with statistics agency DANE yesterday. The new rate reflects a drop of 0.4 percentage points over the 2014 statistic. The rate in the 13 largest cities was measured at 8.1%, a drop of 0.6 percentage points from the 2014 rate of 8.7%. Of the 23 largest cities, 16 showed single-digit unemployment.
The number translates to the creation of 513,000 new jobs, according to the government, which offered that formal employment grew at a rate seven times that of the informal sector or self-employed.
“It’s a very positive statistic that fills us with happiness and optimism,” said President Juan Manuel Santos. “This statistic of 7.3% unemployment, we haven’t seen since we began to measure statistics this way,; that is to say in the last 15 years.”
According to DANE, Colombia’s national statistics agency, for the period from September to November of 2015, the unemployment rate was 8.1%, a touch higher than the 8.0% of a year before. For the 13 largest cities, the rolling trimester rate was at 8.9%, the same as in 2014.
“Once again, the unemployment rate has fallen to a historic low, demonstrating the important advances that we have achieved in employment, one of the priorities of the Finance Ministry,” said Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas.
Regarding various sectors, five of the eight measured showed improved employment. The social, personal, and community service sector grew by 4.4% in terms of employment, real estate grew 3.5%, and the consumer sector grew 3.2%. Construction employment fell by 2.4% and the industrial workforce shrank by 3.3%. The agricultural sector also showed growth.
“The reduction in the unemployment rate in November 2015 is explained by the creation of 513,000 jobs relative to the same period a year before. We have seen a higher employment rate, going from 60.3% in November of 2014 to 60.9% in November of 2015. Additionally, a reduction of 74,000 people from the unemployed population was observed. The strength of this country against external shocks and the difficult international situation, along with the policies implemented by the government to stimulate the economy, continue to bear fruit in the Colombian labor market,” said Cardenas.
“Even with the economic difficulties we face, the economic storm, we continue generating employment. That is the priority of this government, since the first day of the administration,” said Santos. “We continue in a positive trajectory, and continue creating jobs.”