Unemployment in Uruguay in October fell to 7.1% and marked the lowest monthly record of the year, according to data published on Tuesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE). In September this index was at 8.4% and a year ago, in October 2015, at 8.5%.
The new index keeps reflecting the usual differences between urban Montevideo, where unemployment was at 6.8% and the countryside's 7.3 %, the INE report showed. There were also 8.8% of women unemployed, as opposed to a 5.5% of men.
Unemployment increased in 2015 as a result of the slowdown in the economy, closing the year at 7.5%, when 2014 closed at 6.6%. In 2016 the bullish trend was in line with the problems of the local economy. The first quarter registered an average unemployment of 7.9%. The second quarter 7.8% and the third quarter 8.2%. October marked a drop to 7.1% and data from November and December will determine the yearly figures for 2016.
Nevertheless, Economy Minister Danilo Astori said that Uruguay's economy will close 2016 with a half-point growth in output and that the country must maintain fiscal prudence and caution towards the budget debate that will take place next year. Astori said that considering the budget that is committed in the government program to meet health, education, safety and housing goals, and maintaining a cautious fiscal policy, is what will be discussed within the 2017 budget.
Astori also said that Uruguay must improve the results obtained so far in educational matters: In education we have to work a lot, this is improving the results we are getting so far, he said.