Santos said Tuesday via Twitter, “We had a single digit unemployment rate. The more we advance, the more we need to improve.”
Figures released yesterday show that unemployment in December was 9.8%, signifying a year-on-year decrease of 1.3%.
But Wednesday Colombian daily El Tiempo led with a story pointing out that Colombia has one of the highest unemployment rates in the region, greater than the Dominican Republic and slightly below that of Jamaica.
In comparison, Chile has an unemployment rate of 7.1%, while Brazil’s is only 6%.
Despite this, the unemployment situation has improved under Santos, with today’s 2.25 million unemployed signifying a 10% drop since his inauguration in 2010.
But former minister and senator Cecilia Lopez urged caution, telling El Tiempo that improvement in labor market indicators should not mask the fact that people are increasingly turning to informal work to support themselves, which is both insecure to the worker and untaxed by the government.
The Colombian government stressed to Radio Caracol that the Santos administration has created 1.5 million jobs since coming to power in 2010. It also plans to formalize 500,000 jobs by the end of its four-year-tenure.
Last November, Labor Minister Rafael Pardo ordered government institutions to stop using informal workers, and to provide action plans on how they planned to carry this directive out.