Colombia’s urban unemployment rate increased to 11% in October from
10.2% in the same month last year but lower than the 11.3% in
September, the national statistics department, or DANE, 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 October was
10.1%, unchanged from the same month last year and lower than the 11%
registered in September.
In the August-October period, unemployment rose to 11.2% from 10.7% in the same period last year.
The Colombian economy is slowing down because of the restrictive
monetary policy imposed by the central bank to control inflation.
The central bank has gradually raised rates to 10% from 6% in April, 2006.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has repeatedly asked the central bank
to cut rates as production costs have increased forcing companies to
Uribe had said that rate increases in recent months have achieved the
policy goals, preventing consumers from taking on too much debt and, at
the same time, signaling the commitment in battling inflation. (Dow Jones)