Colombia’s urban unemployment rate, traditionally the main measurement of joblessness in the country, declined in November as faster economic growth appears to be fueling job creation.
Colombia’s urban unemployment rate dipped to 10.3% in November from 10.6% a year ago, the national statistics institute, known as DANE, said Wednesday. The decline extends a trend of lower unemployment readings in the country’s biggest cities over the last few months.
In a nationwide measure, which economists say produces a less exact indicator of the job market, unemployment stood at 9.2% from 10.8% a year earlier.
Colombia’s stubbornly high unemployment rate represents one of the top economic challenges for President Juan Manuel Santos, who has pledged to create 2.5 million jobs over the coming years by easing labor laws and making it cheaper for small companies to hire workers that are starting their first jobs.
The decrease in the urban unemployment rate, based on a survey of 13 metropolitan areas, comes amid faster economic growth this year. The Colombian economy expanded by 7.7% in the third quarter. The figure beat the projections of economists and even government officials. Santos said earlier this week that the economy will likely expand more than 5.5% for all of 2011.