Colombia’s unemployment rate dipped to 10.4% in March from 10.9% during the same period last year, according to the government statistics agency DANE.
The statistics agency said last month that unemployment continued to affect 2.37 million Colombians compared to 2.38 million in 2011.
The figure also represents a decline from February, when unemployment stood at 11.9%. Last year’s average figure was 10.8%.
In March the monthly unemployment rate in Colombia’s 13 major metropolitan areas was higher than the national average, at 12.5%.
Quibdo, the capital of western Choco Department had the highest unemployment rate at 21.1%, while the Metropolitan Area of Barranquilla, the capital of Atlantico Department, had only 7.5%. The country’s capital Bogota registered 10.7% unemployment.
Despite the declines, Colombia still has one of the highest unemployment rates among major South American economies. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged to reverse this by creating 2.5 million jobs over the coming years. He said he will ease labor laws and make it cheaper for small companies to hire workers who are starting their first jobs.
In a 2010 survey conducted by DANE the Santos government created 900,000 jobs for its people.