Sunday 13 June 2021

Unemployment in Costa Rica closed 2020 at 20%

In the last quarter of last year, the unemployment rate affected women more with 25.2%, while in the male population it was 16.4%

QCOSTARICA – The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) reported Thursday, February 4, that unemployment in the last moving quarter of 2020 reached 20%.

File photo of the CINDE job fair in February 2019 held at the Costa Rica Convention Center when it was possible to attend in person.

The moving quarter means that the three-month average unemployment is considered and each month the last month is removed and a new one is added. The measurement allows you to see the trend of the indicator.

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The indicator had an increase of 7.6 percentage points, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Despite the improvement in the trend, unemployment remains high. In the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 488,000 people reported being out of work, which represented an increase compared to the last quarter of 2019, of 178,000 unemployed.

In that period, the unemployment rate affected more women with 25.2%, while in the case of the male population it was 16.4%, both statistically significant increases of 8.6 and 6.9 percentage points (respectively), compared to the same period in 2019.

The employed population with underemployment (working fewer hours than they would like), was estimated at 20.6% in the last quarter of 2020, year-on-year this indicator increased by 7.6 percentage points compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

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The annual average unemployment rate for 2020 (which is the product of the simple average of the information in the four calendar quarters of the year) was 19.6%; higher than that of 2019 (11.8%).

As explained by the Banco Cental (Central Bank) in the 2021 and 2022 Macroeconomic Program, the relaxation of the confinement measures adopted in the second half of 2020 and the recovery of the world economy favored the performance of the national economy in the second part of that year, which it is consistent with the slight improvement in unemployment.

The credit facility program made available by the entity could also be a contributing factor.

In 2020, domestic production fell 4.5%, according to preliminary estimates, and for this year the Central Bank estimates a growth of 2.6%, which still would not compensate for the fall due to the pandemic.

The Central Bank does not make unemployment projections.

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) estimated a 19.3% unemployment for Costa Rica in 2021 and it would not be until 2022 when a drop is achieved.

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