Venezuela: Unemployment drops, growth continues


Unemployment in Venezuela dropped from 8.8% in July 2007 to 7.2% in July 2008, the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on August 14.

The percentage of workers who are in the formal sector rose to 57.5% over the past year, representing an increase of 287,220 formal sector workers. The remaining 42.5% work in informal jobs, such as street vending and businesses with fewer than 5 employees.

This is the fifth consecutive year that unemployment has decreased in Venezuela. INE President Elias Eljuri Abraham predicted that if the trend continues, unemployment will be 6% by the end of the year.

The unemployment rate when President Hugo Chavez began his first term in 1999 was 14.7%.

Reflecting the increase in living standards and national production sovereignty, Venezuela's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 7.1% in the second quarter of 2008.

Such results were principally brought about by higher demand, as much by spending on consumption as by investment and favoured by the implementation of the plan of public and private investment, the continuation of the revival of family earnings, the higher level of employment and the consolidation of the government's social programs at a national level.

Food scarcity in July dropped to 12.1%, down from a short-term peak of 24.7% in January.

[Compiled from]