Colombian statistics agency DANE released data showing increasingly lower unemployment, fueled by an increase in jobs in the energy sector.
Unemployment went down 0.6 percentage points from 9.9 to 9.3 in July, compared to the same month last year, continuing a downward trend that’s been ongoing since 2010.
A number of employment indicators revealed further consolidation around positive trends.
- Total national unemployment fell .35%
- Youth unemployment fell 0.8%
- Women unemployment fell 0.6%, male by 0.2%
- Informal labor occupation fell 1.3%
The statistics are all consistent with recent movements in the Colombian labor market, where unemployment has been trending downwards amid an increasing working age population.
There are some glaring weaknesses however. A little more than 36% of Colombia’s working age population is “inactive” or not searching for work and not considered unemployed.
The majority of this group is made up of women (65.3%) who are dedicated mainly to “household chores,” while men were primarily in this group because of school enrollment.
Moreover, nearly 50% of the working age population works in the informal sector, where a cash-only business model and off-the-books accounting make it impossible to collect taxes and integrate workers into the larger national-social architecture.
Industries that added most employment were Electric, water and gas supplies, construction and social/personal services, while manufacturing, mining and hotel/restaurants lost workers.