QCOSTARICA – The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) places Costa Rica with the highest unemployment rate in people between 15 and 24 years old (40%), even when comparing us with other countries such as Colombia, Chile and Mexico, which are also part of this organization.
Covid-19 came to exacerbate youth unemployment, which prior to the pandemic was already 30%.
In times of pandemic, the unemployment rate of people between 15 and 24 years old increased by 10 percentage points without showing improvement to date.
The data is supported by observations of Costa Rica’s Colegio de Ciencias Económicas (ECE) – College of Economic Sciences, of the condition of young people, those between the ages of 15 and 35, in the labor market.
As the ECE data for the first quarter of 2022 show, almost two-thirds of unemployed people are young.
According to the ECE, worrying is the low employment rate of people between 15 and 24 years old, which is 28.6%, while that of people between 25 and 44 years old is 72.4%.
These results represent a gap in the employment rate of 43.8 percentage points.
Costa Rica owes a debt to young people in terms of employment. High dropout rates from secondary education persist. Those who complete high school have few opportunities to acquire technical and university training. On the other hand, technical education still does not develop an academic offer according to the positions that international companies operating in Costa Rica are demanding, in which English, information and communication technologies and soft skills are basic knowledge to enter the labor market.
University education also remains inaccessible to this group, either due to the lack of places in public universities or the impossibility of entering private universities.
Beyond generating sources of employment, Ennio Rodríguez, President of the ECE, “urges the new Government to work on aligning labor supply and demand. On the one hand, more and better jobs must be created. On the other, provide the academic and technical offer necessary to satisfy the requirements of potential jobs.”
“In particular, efforts should be focused on ensuring that those who dropped out of high school complete these studies, as well as on teaching English and new technologies, which are today the two great barriers for young people to opt for the jobs the international companies offer and other sectors such as tourism,” emphasized Rodríguez.