Colombia’s urban unemployment rate, traditionally the main measurement of joblessness in the country, declined to 11.8% in June from 12.8% a year earlier, the national statistics institute known as DANE said Friday.
The decline extends a trend of lower unemployment readings in the country’s biggest cities over the last few months, fueled by a surging economy that could grow by 6% this year.
In a nationwide survey, which economists say produces a less exact indicator of the job market, unemployment stood at 10.9% in June, down from 11.6% a year earlier, DANE said.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who has been on the job for almost a year, has pledged to create millions of jobs during his time in office by easing labor laws that he says can put a crimp on hiring. For many years, unemployment has remained stubbornly high, even during times of strong economic growth.
The country’s economy grew 5.1% in the first quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, fueled by private consumption and investment in Colombia’s booming oil and coal sectors.