The worrying unemployment figures that affect the country not only have a direct impact on people’s purchasing power and a vicious circle effect on the economy. They also have begun to reflect on social security.

After two years in a row in which the number of private workers who contributed to the Seguro de Enfermedad y Maternidad (SEM) – Sickness and Maternity Insurance – of the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS) grew around 2%, this year, for the first time, there has been a resounding drop of -0.004%.

The percentage may be too small to be significant, but it shows a trend that, in a nutshell, says that there were fewer workers contributing, according to the latest Financial Evolution Report prepared by the office of the Comptroller General.

The downward trend is a result of the growth in the unemployment rate that went from 8.6% in the second quarter of 2018, to 11.9% currently, according to Statistics data and Censuses (INEC), which also summarized that more than 1 million workers are working informally.

“The conditions of the labor market, together with the slowdown in the economy, are transferred to the contributions to the SEM,” the Comptroller concluded.

Since social contributions are the main source of income for both SEM and IVM (Basic Pension), informality, unemployment and wage behavior have a direct impact on both.