San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Employment indicator shows job gains

The number of workers enrolled in the Social Security System´s (Caja) health insurance program showed an increase of 1.4 percent in December 2009, the daily La Nación reported.

According to Caja reports, the increase in the number of ensured workers began to deteriorate at the beginning of 2008, and by mid-2009 the overall number of insured workers was dropping each month.

The slight increase in the overall numbers of workers reported at year´s end was attributed by the Caja to gains in commerce and the agricultural sectors. The construction and industrial sectors, the areas of the Costa Rican economy most affected by the worldwide economic crisis, did not show employment increases, although the rate of job losses in these sectors slowed. Job losses in the economy´s most depressed area – the textile sector – did not decrease.

According to La Nación, workers enrolled in the Caja´s health insurance program – employers are obligated to enlist full time workers – amount to 70% of the overall work force. The data reported by the Caja is an important indicator of the nation´s overall economic well being because it represents formal employment, which is also likely to be longer-term.

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