Chile's National Institute of Statistics (INE) Wednesday released a report showing a 7.8% unemployment rate for the March/May 2022 quarter, a 0.1% turn for the worse when compared to the February-April period, although, overall, nearly 96% of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic have been recovered.
INE Director Sandra Quijada insisted over 813,000 jobs had been recovered in the last twelve months. when the total number of people with a paid job grew 10.1%, driven by commerce's 13.2% improvement and a 34.6% growth in lodging and food services. Household keeping also rose 30.1%.
Unemployment in Chile has thus recorded its thirteenth consecutive drop, an annual decline of 2.2 percentage points, given that the increase in the labor force was 7.5% and was lower than the increase in the number of employed persons, which reached 10.1%. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed individuals decreased by 16.5%.
In Santiago's Metropolitan Region, home to 7.1 of Chile's 19 million inhabitants, the unemployment rate for the quarter reached 8.3%, a decrease of 3.1 points over twelve months.
The unemployment rate among women stood at 8.5%, decreasing by 1.8% in a year, while the participation and occupation rates stood at 49.8 and 45.6%, respectively. However, INE's document showed that in 12 months, the volume of work, measured through the total number of practical hours worked by employed persons, rose 16.6%; in addition, the average number of weekly hours grew 5.9%, reaching 38.5 hours.
Quijada highlighted that with respect to the lowest point observed in 2020, there was an accumulated increase of 1,777,876 employed persons at the national level, recovering 95.9% of the occupations that were lost at the worst moment of the pandemic.
During the May/July 2020 quarter and under a strong sanitary lockdown, unemployment had reached 13.5%, almost five points higher than the 7.9% recorded in the same month of 2018, and 7.5% in 2019.
We see that there is a lower dynamism, but new occupations are being generated, and people are entering the labor market, and we also have an increase in unemployed people, Quijada explained.
What we see is that the increase in occupations with respect to the previous mobile quarter, which reaches around 60 thousand occupations, is more or less the same number that we saw the previous quarter. So, we are in a situation where we are advancing, but with a slightly slower dynamism, she added.