Magallanes and Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego respectively were the Chilean region and city with the lowest unemployment rate in the May-July quarter, according to the latest release from the national Statistics Institute (INE).
Unemployment in Magallanes was 2.4% and in Porvenir 1.6%, the lowest since the same quarter in 1996 (2.8%). Chile's national unemployment average stood at 7%, which is 1.8% lower than twelve months ago but 0.1% higher than the previous quarter April-June. This means the employment situation overall in Chile is consolidating as the economy remains expanding above the 5 to 6% range annually, pointed out Gabriel Parada head of the Magallanes branch Statistics Offices. The region of Chile with the highest unemployment was Maule with 9.8% and the city with the highest number of unemployed Lota, 13.5%. According to Parada in the May-July quarter 2.730 jobs were created in Magallanes compared to a year ago, with the total number of employed reaching 64.100, which represents a 4.4% increase over the same quarter in 2006. The work force in the quarter under consideration totaled 65.670 people, up 2.5% from a year ago. Population outside the labor force was 56.270. Parada said that the increase in the labor force could mean the incorporation of people from other regions that are coming down to Magallanes in search of work, mainly in the construction industry. He added that Magallanes still has many job openings in retailing and the construction industry, in spite of the fact that retailing is undergoing a consolidation process with the big national stores and supermarkets opening shop in Punta Arenas. In the city of Porvenir fisheries and manufacturing concentrate employment. However Magallanes unemployment by gender shows that it is more significant among women, 4.4% compared to 1.6% for men. Unemployment in the May-July quarter in Magallanes for the last twelve years: 1996, 2.8%; 1997, 4,1%; 1998: 6,3%; 1999, 8,2%; 2000, 7,6%; 2001, 7,1%; 2002, 8,4%; 2003, 7,9%; 2004, 7,3%; 2005, 6,7%; 2006, 4,2%; and 2007, 2,4%.