Unemployment in Costa Rica grew to 12.4% at the end of 2019 and is one of the highest in Latin America, the country’s official statistics agency said Thursday.
The figure for the last quarter of last year slightly exceeds the 12% unemployment registered in the last quarter of 2018, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).
Unemployment especially affects women — it reached 16.7% of the female labor force, while among men it reached 9.6%, according to the INEC report.
The report said the figures represent 309,000 unemployed people in Costa Rica, a country with a population of 5 million.
The statistical agency said that 46.5% of the working-age population is in a condition of informal employment; that is, they perform jobs without being registered with the State and without contributing to social security.
Likewise, 11% are in a condition of underemployment, which means they work fewer hours than they would like.