Monday 20 March 2023

Costa Rica registers 11.8% unemployment

Before the covid-19 pandemic, unemployment was around 12%

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18 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Unemployment in Costa Rica stood at 11.8% in January 2023 and informal employment at 43%, the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) –  National Institute of Statistics and Censuses – reported this Thursday.

The data from the INEC Encuesta Continua de Empleo (Continuous Employment Survey) show a stagnation of the indicators during the last months of 2022 since in December unemployment stood at 11.7%, in November at 11.6%, in October 11 .4% and in September it was 12%.

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The report released this Thursday by the INEC indicates that last January there were 287,000 people without jobs, which represents an unemployment rate of 11.8%, and that the employed population reached 2.15 million people.

“The national unemployment rate was 11.8%, the male rate was estimated at 9.5% and the female rate at 15.2%. When compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the national unemployment rate fell by 1.3 percentage points; while by sex, it did not present statistically significant variation,” explained the INEC.

Before the covid-19 pandemic, unemployment was around 12%, but with the closure of economic activities, little by little the percentage grew until it reached a maximum of 24.4% in July 2020.

In 2021, with the advancement of vaccination and the reopening of economic activities, a steady decline in unemployment began until it reached pre-pandemic levels in mid-2022.

The activities that generate the most employment in Costa Rica are commerce and repair with 384,000 (17.4% of the employed population), the manufacturing industry with 247,000 (11.5% of employed), and agriculture, livestock, forestry, and fishing with 233,000 (10.8%).

Also, the data shows that 925,000 people work informally, of which 572,000 are men and 353,000 are women.

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“Of the total number of employed people, 43% were classified as having informal employment. Of the total number of employed men, 43.2% were in the informal sector and 42.7% of the total number of women,” detailed the INEC.

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