Colombia’s urban unemployment rate increased to 13% in June from 11.7%
in the same month last year amid a negative unemployment outlook for
2009, the country’s DANE statistics agency said Friday.
The figures apply to the country’s 13 major metropolitan areas, and
observers of the Colombian economy tend to consider the urban
unemployment rate – as opposed to the national rate – to be a better
gauge of the job market’s health.
On the national level, including rural areas, the average
unemployment rate in June was 11.4%, up slightly from 11.2% in the same
month last year but lower than the 11.7% registered last month.
DANE said there were 2.39 million unemployed people in Colombia in June 2009, up from 2.15 million in June 2008.
The Colombian economy is slowing down because of the global
economic crisis. Colombia’s economy contracted 1% in the fourth quarter
of 2008 from the same period the year before and 0.6% year-on-year in
the first quarter of this year.
Daniel Lozano, analyst at local brokerage Profesionales de Bolsa,
believes urban unemployment could increase to 14% at the end of the
year because the economy of the U.S., Colombia’s largest trade partner,
has not recovered.
“We believe the international financial crisis is not over yet. As
long as the U.S. doesn’t recover, Colombia will be hit,” Lozano said.