Uruguay's unemployment rate rose from 9.7% in April to 10.2% at the end of May, which marked a return of the index to double-digit figures, according to a monthly report released Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
At the same time, the employment rate, which measures the percentage of working age people who actually have a job fell from 55% to 54.5%.
Unemployment was significantly higher in the interior compared to the capital coty of Montevideo: 10.7% compared to 9.5%; and 11.6% of women against 9.0% in men.
The INE report showed that for the month of May an average of 33.0 effective hours of weekly work was estimated for those employed by their main job.
From the methodological point of view, people aged 14 or older, who worked for at least one hour the week prior to the survey, or who did not work due to being on vacation, or due to illness, are considered as employed, as are those affected by accidents, work conflicts or interruptions of work due to bad weather, breakdowns in machinery or lack of raw materials, who have a job to which they are expected to return, INE explained.
Economist Aldo Lema said on his Twitter account that there was also a fall in seasonally adjusted employment. Then, in year-on-year terms, the number of employed increased by 58,000 people, partly influenced by the low comparison base in May 2020.
The activity rate — the working-age population that is employed or seeking employment — had a slight month-on-month decline. In April it had been 60.9% and in May it was 60.7%.
The number of people who worked remotely in May fell 0.4 percentage points in relation to April, when 18.4% of workers were involved in it.
Some 61,000 people said they were available for work but did not seek employment, of whom 22.1% did not do it to carry on with their studies while 18.9% have stopped searching after long unsuccessful months and 17.9% preferred to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.