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Costa Rica unemployment rate at 18.1%

Unemployment in Costa Rica was 18.1% in the moving quarter from April to June 2021, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).

Compared to the same quarter of last year, unemployment in Costa Rica has decreased by 5.9 percentage points. However, the unemployment rate has remained relatively unchanged throughout 2021.

Women continue to have a higher unemployment rate than men — 24.6% and 13.7%, respectively.

Of the unemployed population, nearly all (99.6%) reported losing their job or struggling to find work due to causes related to the pandemic, INEC says.

“Effects are still observed in practically all work sectors due to the measures and policies taken as a result of the health emergency,” the report reads.

The percentage of employed people was calculated at 1.97 million people, an increase of 224,000 people compared to the same time in 2020.

About 863,000 people have informal employment, comprising 451,000 independent workers and about 412,000 salaried workers whose activities are classified as informal.

Meanwhile, the INEC calculated the underemployment rate — the percentage of employed people who work fewer than 40 hours a week and want to work more hours — at 15.4%, also a decrease compared to last year.

Unemployment in Costa Rica had reached 12% in March 2020, already one of the highest levels recorded in the country until then, but it soared to 24% due to the impact of the pandemic in the moving quarter from May to July 2020.

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