Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said Tuesday that the unemployment rate for the country continues its downward trend, reaching 9.9% for the month of February, 2015.
“The trend in unemployment continues to fall. The unemployment rate has stood at 9.9% in February, much lower than that recorded in the same month of 2014 (10.7%),” said Cardenas.
“The continued decline in unemployment is the best news I can give the country at this juncture. The economy remains strong enough to offset the increased input of labor in the labor market. The reduction in unemployment indicates an environment of greater participation of Colombians in the labor market.”
Similarly, Cardenas stressed that the overall workforce participation rate increased from 63.7% in the first quarter of 2014 to 64% in first quarter of 2015. “The results published by DANE (Colombia’s official government statistics agency) mean that it is possible to maintain high expectations of strong domestic demand in 2015. The single digit unemployment rate in the second month of the year is historic, it is the first time that on the first of February we exhibited an unemployment rate below 10%.”
According to DANE, in the last year 699,000 jobs were generated, and then 457,000 jobs were created in just the past three months.
The job growth has been seen in almost all sectors of the economy, with the possible exclusion of the petroleum industry. The largest contributor to employment growth was real estate and construction, which contributed 0.7% to the annualized average growth in the last quarter of3.4%, followed by manufacturing 0.7% and transportation at 0.5%.
“It’s interesting how job creation is occurring equally among sectors that produce goods or services for the domestic market and also for tradable sectors such as industry and agriculture,” the DANE report said.
Geographically it is worth noting that unemployment fell in all regions of the country. Leading the labor market growth were the departments of the Atlantic coast. Cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Monteria (7.0%), Barranquilla (7.5%) and Cartagena (8.4%).