According to recent data released by the National Statistics Administrative Department (DANE), between March and May of this year 13,666,000 working age Colombians, representing 35.7% of the population, were out of work, either due to unemployment or by choice. The amount increased by 0.34% (47,000) from the same period in 2016. Women make up the majority of the unemployed, outnumbering men by 2:1.
Among the 13.6 million that are out of work, 39.8% indicated that they are studying, 40.8% were dedicated to household activities and 19.3% could not find a job or were not looking, Most of these 13.6 million Colombians are not considered in unemployment data, which was set at 9.4% in May 2017. That was an increase of 0.6% from the May 2016.
The population’s participation in the workforce is considered to be a strong indicator with regard to the health of an economy.
Among those who are unemployed, only 45.5% of women are currently employed while 25.4% of men are employed, according to DANE data. This has been a sustained trend for many years in Colombia.
For the period March-May 2017, the DANE reported that female unemployment reached a 12% while male unemployment was 7% this year, decreasing compared to last year’s same period, with the values of 12.1% and 7.3% respectively.
Women in Colombia are primarily employed in commerce, hotels and restaurants, while male employment is predominantly in agriculture, farming, forestry and fishing.