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Unemployment in Costa Rica falls slightly; more women join workforce

May 6, 2019

Unemployment in Costa Rica fell to 11.3% in the first trimester of 2019, according to data released last week by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC).

The figure is slightly improved from the 12% unemployment rate reported at the end of 2018 and equals the 11.3% unemployment rate from the first trimester of last year.

“Although the national unemployed population increased significantly, the unemployment rate at the national level remained unchanged, since it was compensated by the increase in the participation of the workforce,” reads the INEC report.

President Carlos Alvarado said last week in a speech to the Legislative Assembly that addressing unemployment remains one of Costa Rica and his administration’s greatest challenges.

According to INEC, Costa Rica’s workforce has reached 2.45 million people, an increase of 214,000 people since the first trimester of 2018. That includes 159,000 more working women compared to the same period last year.

The workforce is comprised of 1.47 million men and 983,000 women, INEC says.

Despite the improved unemployment rate, INEC reports Costa Rica registered a 1.4% increase in underemployment, or people without full-time jobs, over the past year.

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