San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Unemployment increases despite economic growth

Results of the “Continuous Employment Survey” released Wednesday by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) indicates that the unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2012 was 10.4 percent, a higher figure than the 9.8 percent reported the same period last year.

Maria Elena González, manager of INEC, said the drop is due to the economic recovery of mid-2011, which prompted more people to seek work. This increases the rate of unemployment.

In early 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.8 percent. It rose to 10.9 percent in the second and third quarter, then dropped to 10.4 percent in the fourth quarter, remaining the same in the first quarter of this year.

INEC experts say that the Costa Rican industry sector can be considered stable, but the construction sector has shown a dramatic increase from the early fall of 2011.

The “Continuous Employment Survey” provides new statistical research on job market development, and is published four times a year. The investigation involves visiting 9,024 homes per quarter, and each home data remains in the sample for four quarters.

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