The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) has released Colombia’s unemployment data for the month of September. The unemployment rate remains stable at 9.3%, the same figure as in August. This represents a decrease of 1.4 percentage points compared to the same month in 2022 when it stood at 10.7%.
The values have remained within the same range since June, with a slight variation in July at 9.6%, returning to 9.3% the following month, a figure that remains for the latest month. This means that there are 2.35 million unemployed people in Colombia.
On the other hand, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) was 64.2%, while in September 2022, it was 64.1%. LFPR is the percentage relationship between the economically active population and the working-age population. This indicator reflects the pressure of the working-age population on the labor market.
Furthermore, the employment rate, which is the percentage relationship between the employed population and the number of people in the working-age population, was 58.3%. This represents an increase of 1 percentage point compared to the same month in 2022.
More than 23 million employed
This means that in September, Colombia had 23.1 million workers, which implies a recovery of 717,000 jobs across the country.
“The sectors that contributed the most positively to the variation in the employed population were Public Administration and Defense, Education, and Human Health (1.1 percentage points); followed by Transport and Storage (1.0 percentage points), and Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, and Other Service Activities with 0.7 percentage points,” announced DANE.
On the other hand, the sector where the most jobs were lost was agriculture, livestock, hunting, forestry, and fishing, which saw a decrease of 98,000 employed individuals in September.
Additionally, informality increased to 56.1%, compared to the 55.9% reported in August. However, it represents a decrease of 2.6% compared to the rate reported in September 2022. This situation is more pronounced in rural areas, where informality reaches 84.8% of employees, significantly higher than the rate a year ago, which was 83.7%.
Unemployment by cities and age groups
Regarding the unemployment map, the regions that traditionally have higher unemployment rates continue to do so. In this regard, the cities with the highest levels of unemployment were Quibdó (22.7%), Ibagué (14.1%), and Florencia (13.4%). On the other hand, the cities with the lowest unemployment rates were Bucaramanga (7.9%), Santa Marta (7.9%), and Pereira (8.3%).
Regarding age groups, the figures vary by gender: for men, it affects those over 55 years of age the most. However, for women, the highest unemployment rates are among those aged 15 to 24.
For many analysts, these numbers are not negative, especially considering the high pressure exerted by the central bank’s high interest rates on the labor market and economic growth. Job creation is more challenging with such high borrowing costs. This week, the central bank’s board decided to keep the rate unchanged for another month at 13.25%, with expectations of commencing gradual reductions in December.