Colombia’s urban unemployment rate in September rose to 12.9% from 11.3% in the same month in 2008, the national statistics department, or DANE, said Friday.
The figures apply to the country’s 13 largest 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.
In the July-September period, urban unemployment rose to 13% from 11.5% in the same period a year ago. The average rate also was 13% in the period from June through August.
DANE said there were 2.53 million unemployed people in Colombia in September 2009, up from 2.16 million in September 2008. The higher unemployment rate contributes to the weakening of the consumer demand in the country, analysts said.
DANE said that on a national level, including rural areas, the unemployment rate in September was 12.2%, up from 11% in September 2008.
The Colombian economy, slowing because of the global economic crisis, contracted 0.5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. The second quarter contraction was the third consecutive annual contraction registered by the Colombian economy. (Dow Jones)