The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in May, down seven-tenths of a percent from 8.6 percent in April, according to the latest monthly report on labor by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
These figures indicate that unemployment is down half a percent compared to May of last year, and a reduction of 6.7 percent compared to May of 1999 (when unemployment stood at 14.6 percent).
According to the INE, the actively employed population for May reached 92.1 percent, or over 12.3 million people, out of the total working-aged population of over 13.3 million. This is seven-tenths of a percent more than the number employed in April, which was about 12.2 million.
The INE’s household survey for May indicated that 59.1 percent of employed Venezuelans were working in the formal sector. That amount is four-tenths of a percent more than in April, when the rate was 58.7 percent (7.29 million compared to 7.20 million), and three percentage points more than in May of 2011 (when 6.75 million were employed in the formal sector).
The number of Venezuelans working in the informal sector numbered just over 5 million, or 40.9 percentage of the total working population. This figure is down from 41.3 percent in April. Meanwhile, last May, 43.9 percent were employed in the informal sector (5.28 million).
The INE’s household survey for May was conducted from April 30 to June 1 using a simple of 7,380 households and 22,350 individuals over the age of 15.
INE President Elías Eljuri said in a press release that the analysis of the evolution of the formal versus informal sectors of the country’s economy shows that “beyond circumstances and fluctuations, the evolution of employment continues toward the consolidation of the sectors that generate stable and productive jobs: in May of 1999, formal employment was at 46.3 percent, compared to 59.1 percent in May of 2012, which is an increase of 12.8 percentage points.”
He said that the tendency of rising formal sector employment, and accordingly the drop in informal employment, is partly a result of rising private sector jobs, “more jobs and workers and less non-professional independent workers,” Eljuri said.