Published on Friday, September 3, 2021 | Updated on Friday, September 3, 2021

Colombia | In July the labor market showed better signals

In July, the unemployment rate was 14.3%, lower than in July 2020, but higher than in July 2019. Between June and July 2021, with comparable data, the unemployment rate decreased by 1.1 p.p.. This reduction was leveraged on employment, which grew considerably in July.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • In July, employment grew by 2.1% with respect to June 2021, higher than the -0.3% monthly average of the first half of the year. With this, the number of employed persons was similar to that of March 2021 and at 94.1% of its pre-pandemic level (Feb. 2020).
  • At the urban level, employment was more dynamic than at the national level, with a growth of 2.4% between June and July 2021. Thus, urban employment stood at 93.3% of its pre-pandemic level (Feb. 2020), the highest level observed since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • With this, the labor market shows a significant lag with respect to activity, since the latter is very close to 100% of its pre-pandemic level. This lag has been observed throughout the reactivation process.
  • Five sectors account for 89% of the decline in employment between july 2019 and july 2021 and five subsectors account for 71%. Increased presence in education and greater sectoral openness and activity are likely to increase employment in these subsectors.
  • During the remainder of the second half of the year, job creation is expected to pick up due to the greater opening of sectors that are still affected, the return to a more generalized on-site presence in education, greater activity and active employment support policies. In addition, the increase in the number of hours worked may be anticipating greater hiring. The gradualness of the upturn will depend on the progress of the pandemic and the care strategy implemented.

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