Costa Rica’s hiring outlook for the next quarter is mostly stable, according to the latest Employment Outlook Survey from consulting firm ManpowerGroup.
Fifteen percent of employers surveyed in Costa Rica said they expect to increase their staff between July and September, while 78 percent said they will maintain their staff unchanged.
Six percent of employers said they plan layoffs during the next quarter.
Hiring perspectives for the upcoming quarter are down 2 percent compared to the current quarter and down 1 percent compared to a year ago.
Guanacaste was the only province that reported negative hiring expectations for the upcoming quarter, with 1 percent more employers planning to lay people off than those planning to hire new workers.
Major construction projects and the arrival of new foreign companies, mainly in Cartago and Alajuela provinces, indicate that job creation is moving outside the capital San José, ManpowerGroup found.
Nearly one quarter of employers surveyed in Cartago and one fifth of employers in Alajuela said they planned to hire new employees in the near future. Those two provinces showed the highest hiring expectations in the country.
New jobs in Alajuela will be concentrated in free zones, mainly in manufacturing and services, including medical supply firms, and shared services and call centers, ManpowerGroup reported.
Companies in Cartago are growing mostly within a new industrial park, and construction — currently the best job market in that province — is underway in a new free zone.
ManpowerGroup’s Costa Rica manager, Ana Gabriela Chaverri, said the increase in hiring in manufacturing and services is driven mainly by foreign companies, especially in the medical supply and food sectors.
Still, Chaverri said local analysts believe the country’s economic growth is insufficient to reduce the unemployment rate, currently at 9.5 percent, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census.
Manpower conducted its survey among a sample of 620 employers across the country. The survey measures employers’ intentions to hire or dismiss staff, not actual figures about job creation or layoffs.