Unemployment in Chile reaches 7.2%

SANTIAGO – National statistics institute INE has published the latest unemployment figures. According to the institute, unemployment rose 0.2 percentage points over the last three months.  

This Monday, national statistics institute INE revealed that unemployment increased 0.2 percentage points, pushing the April-June rate up to 7.2%. The December-February figure was 6.7%.

The reason for the hike was a 2.2% increase in the labor force, pressuring the labor market. According to INE’s release, sectors which absorbed labor were transport (10.3%), education (6.8%), and professional activities (14.3%) while manufacturing shed 5.0% and public administration 5.6%.

INE also informed that female unemployment was higher than male’s. According to the analysis, female unemployment was 7.9% and male unemployment 6.6%, remaining constant as the labor force grew.

In the Metropolitan region, unemployment reached 7.3%, an increase of 0.3 percentage points. Informal employment decreased to 25.1%. In Santiago, the unemployment rate was 7.1%, or 0.1 percentage points higher. Informal employment also dropped, by 0.8 percentage points to 24.5%.

Last month, President Piñera blamed former president Michelle Bachelet and her labor law reform for rising unemployment. Deputy Frank Sauerbaum of Piñera’s National Renovation party agreed, alleging that the reform benefited unions, and did not aim at generating jobs. Sauerbaum also referred to the tax reform as a measure that affected investment in Chile, causing a deadlock in employment generation.

Parliamentarians from former government coalition Nueva Mayoria, in response, asked Piñera to watch his language when talking about the opposition. Deputy Tucapel Rodríguez, from Party for Democracy, called Piñera’s comments irresponsible, as the government shouldn’t blame the labor reform for higher unemployment.

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