San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Labor Ministry upbeat over job growth

The year 2010 was a good one for job creation in Costa Rica, according to the Labor Ministry. The number of workers enrolled in the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) increased by 5.1 percent year-to-year from December 2009 to 2010. By law, employers must enroll workers in the Caja. 

According to the ministry, the upward trend for job creation is continuing in 2011. From December 2010 to June 2011, 34,320 new workers enrolled in the Caja, for a total of nearly 106,000 new jobs in the formal labor market in the past 18 months. 

Also during the first half of 2011, growth in the services sector fueled an increase in production by 3.6 percent, according to the Central Bank. More than 19,000 new service-sector jobs have been created so far this year. The construction sector also experienced job growth, with nearly 9,000 new workers added to payrolls.

Transportation, storage and communication sectors generated a combined growth of 6.8 percent in the first half of 2011, primarily due to increased demand for Internet and cellphone services, tourism transportation and export services. 

However, growth in other sectors has been only modest. Nevertheless, Labor Ministry officials remain upbeat, saying the economy is showing signs of slow recovery from the 2008-2009 recession.

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