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Unformatted text preview: US$ 291 to US$ 321, approximately). COLOMBIA Labor market facts Recent unemployment rates in Colombia show a deterioration with respect to similar periods in years before (see Figure 10). Unemployment rate in March 2009 was 12.0 percent, 0.8 percentage points above the year before and 0.1 percentage points above the mark for 2007. The January rate, usually the highest in the year, reached a level not seen since 2005. Participation rates have been on the rise. Active labor force represents 60.7 percent of the percentage of working age population for the month of March 2009. This is one of the highest rates recorded in the country in the last three years. Net job creation was in decline most of year 2008 because of a net destruction of salaried workers and a by declining net job creation of non‐salaried workers. However, since the last quarter of 2008, the growth of non‐salaried workers has declined while salaried jobs have been on the rise (see Figure 11). On the other hand, real wages show an important deceleration since the middle of 2007 for retail commerce and since early 2007 for blue‐collar workers in manufacturing (see Figure 12). This fall in real wages is associated to consumer inflation being above 7% since June 2008, while nominal wages have grown at a rate below 5% in both retail and manufacturing. Recent Labor Market Policies In a recent intervention during a meeting of the Inter‐American Development Bank, President Alvaro Uribe announced that Colombia will approach employment protection with a focus on investment, firm activity, and good quality jobs. In particular, President Uribe mentioned three main policy interventions to protect employment during the crisis: • Temporary reductions in para‐fiscal contributions for small and medium size enterprises, during their first three years of operation, in an effort to revitalize the creation of small and medium firms. 89 Colombia Labor Market Indicators (2006‐2009) Figure 9 Figure 10 Unemployment Rate Activity Rate Percentage of working age population 62 15 61 14 Percentage of active labor population 60 59 58 57 56 13 12 12. 11.9 11.2 11.3 11 10 55 9 2009 Jul 2008 Months Figure 11 2009 Jul 2008 Jul Jul 12 per. Mov. Avg. (Activity Rate) 2007 8 2006 Activity Rate Jul 2007 Jul 2006 54 Figure 12 Net Job creation/destruction Change in real wages 1500 8.0% 6.0% 1000 4.0% Annual percentage change 500 2009 2008 2007 2006 0 -500 -1000 2.0% 0.0% -2.0% -4.0% -1500 2009 Jul. 2008 Jul. 2007 Jul. 2006 -6.0% Months salaried workers non-salaried workers change in real wages f or blue collar workers in manufacturing (YoY) change in real wages f or workers in retail commerce (YoY) • • To enhance the employability of vulnerable individuals, an additional 250,000 vacancies in SENA (a technical training institution) will be made available for individuals between 18 and 30 years. The estimated cost of this training effort is C$250 billion (0.7 percent of GDP). An important stated element in the Colombian strategy is the need to maintain w...
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