Unemployment in Colombia drops to single digits – 9.7% – for the first time in 10 years said the director of Colombia’s national statistics agency, DANE, local media reported Monday.
Director Jorge Bustamante said unemployment dropping to single digits for the month of September shows the labor market is very dynamic and is generating employment on a national level. The figure for September 2010 stood at 10.6%.
Currently, the number of Colombians without employment is 2.2 million, a reduction of 139,000. In addition, the rate of underemployment fell from 32.5% to 30.6% and the number of people “moonlighting,” working informally, is placed at 6.9 million.
The cities with the highest rates of unemployment are Popayan at 17.6%, Quibdo at 17.4% and Pereira at 16.6%. The metropolises with single-digit unemployment rates are Riohacha, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Bogota, Barranquilla, and San Andres.
President Santos said “This means that we have met our primary goal of reducing unemployment to single digits earlier than expected.”
On October 21, Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry promised to quit if the unemployment figure remained in double digits.