Magallanes in the extreme south of Chile remains as the region with the lowest unemployment in the country, 3.2% in the July-September quarter. This is considerably less than Chile's 7.7% national average or Greater Santiago's 8%.
Gabriel Parada head of the Chilean Statistics Institute branch in Punta Arenas added that Magallanes cities also have the lowest unemployment rates in the country with 1.1% in Porvenir, Puerto Natales, 3.2% and Punta Arenas 3.8%. Magallanes July-September 3.2% is 1.1 percentage points less than the same period a year ago, however compared to the previous quarter it experienced a slight increase of 0.6 percentage points. The Magallanes 3.2% is made up of 2.9% unemployed and 0.3 % first time job seekers. In people terms the 3.8% for Punta Arenas means 1.800 are out of a job. The city's work force in the July-September quarter was made up of 65.540 people, of which 63.430 had jobs and 2.100 were unemployed. Magallanes figures are far more encouraging that those of Greater Santiago where unemployment, although decreasing, still stood at 8% according to a University of Chile survey. This was the lowest rate since June 1998, just before effects of the Asian economic crisis were felt. The new figure represents a 1.4 percentage point drop in unemployment since last September and a 0.4 percentage point drop since the survey was last done in June. The decline, attributed to an increase in employment that has surpassed the increase in work force population, continues with the national trend of falling unemployment that has existed since 2005. The dip in unemployment was most noticeable with women workers, who saw their unemployment rate fall from 11.1% in September of 2006 to 8.5% in the same month this year. Unemployment among men fell from 8.1% to 7.6% during the same period.