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Published on Thursday, February 4, 2021

Colombia | Effects of covid-19 on the 2020 labor market

In 2020, the behavior of the labor market was determined by the lockdowns. Employment fell by 6 million people during the worst period of the restrictions. Subsequently, the labor variables adjusted positively, without reaching, however, the levels observed before the covid-19

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Comparing December 2019 with December 2020: the unemployed increased by 907 thousand people nationwide, the inactive by 945 thousand and the employed decreased by 1.4 million. The largest job losses occurred in the main cities, in the entertainment sector, among private sector wage earners and among women.
  • In 2020 there was a recomposition of workers between salaried workers in the private sector and self-employed workers, which contributed to raising the share of non-salaried workers (informality proxy) in total employment and thus deteriorating its quality.
  • 2020 closed with a national unemployment rate of 13.4% and an urban unemployment rate of 15.6%. Both the national and urban rates continued to decline in December, as they had been doing since June for the national rate and since August for the urban rate.
  • By 2021, labor variables are expected to continue to adjust, in particular, the number of employed people will continue to increase and the economically inactive population will continue to decline, without reaching, however, the levels observed before the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, although the unemployment rate will continue to decline, it will not reach the level observed at the end of 2019.

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