San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Export sector jobs increased this year

Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) on Monday released a report saying the sector generated a total of 553,690 direct jobs in the past year.

Of that number, firms that export goods employed 413,437 workers (75 percent), 9.4 percent more than in 2011. The services export sector created 140,253 jobs, – 25 percent of total jobs recorded this year.

According to PROCOMER, service companies creating the most jobs are those in tourism (86,137 jobs created), free zones (32,559), information and communications technology (16,557) and medical tourism (5,000).

Of jobs created by companies exporting goods, 47 percent is in the industrial sector and 53 percent is in agriculture.

PROCOMER said the data was obtained from a census of 2,485 companies with exports exceeding $12,000 between July 2011 and June 2012.

The study also noted that 60.6 percent of jobs created by the export sector is attributed to small- and medium-sized businesses, while 19.1 percent is from micro-enterprises. The remaining 20.3 percent was created by large companies.

During the first nine months of 2012, Costa Rican exports grew 8.4 percent, generating revenue of more than $8.5 billion, the study noted.

Costa Rica leads Latin America in jobs created by the export sector, with a figure of 29 percent growth, followed by Chile with 24 percent.

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