According to the state’s statistics agency (DANE), Colombia’s January unemployment rate stood at 12.1%, a 0.4% decrease compared to the same time last year.
In Colombia’s metropolitan areas, January’s unemployment numbers were higher than the national average of 13.1% — or 1.4 million people. In January of 2012, the metropolitan unemployment rate was 13.4%
The cities with the highest unemployment rates were the northern city of Cucuta (17.8%), the southwestern city of Popayan (17.1% ) and the south-central cities of Armenia (16.9%) and Pereira (16.7%)
In contrast, the cities with the lowest unemployment rates in January were the Caribbean cities of Barranquilla (8%), Cartagena (8.7%) and the northeastern city of Bucaramanga (8.6%).
The director of the DANE, Eduardo Freire, said unemployment in the capital city of Bogota decreased from 9.8% in November of 2012 to 9.5% in January of this year. In other words, 422,000 people were looking for formal employment during the first month of 2013.