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Unemployment in Costa Rica registers slight decline but remains high at 11.4%

October 31, 2019

Unemployment in Costa Rica, the government’s main economic concern, registered a slight decline in the third quarter of the year but remained at a high level of 11.4%, the official statistical agency said Thursday.

The figure had reached 11.9% in the second quarter of the year, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).

INEC indicated that the unemployment rate of 11.4% reflects an increase of 1.2 percentage points in a year-on-year comparison.

In comparison with the same period of 2018, unemployment grew in the third quarter of this year, especially among the female population, at 15.4% — an increase of 2.6 percentage points.

Among the male population, unemployment remained unchanged since last year at 8.7%, according to INEC.

The statistical agency said that underemployment — people who work less than 40 hours per week — also had an increase since last year and has reached 11.6%.

Similarly, 46.3% of employed persons work informally, a figure similar to that of the third quarter of last year.

Labor informality refers to those who receive income outside the tax control and legal provisions on employment.

President Carlos Alvarado has pointed to unemployment as the main concern of his government, and the figures remain high amid a slowdown in the economy.

Last July, the Central Bank revised the growth projection for this year downward to 2.2% from an initial forecast of 3.2%.

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