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Unemployment falls to 9.5% in January 2009

The President of the National Statistics Institute (INE), Elías Eljuri, announced that for the first time, a new year is starting with single digit unemployment.  It fell from 16.6% in January 1999 to 9.5% in January 2009, the lowest January figure since unemployment began to be measured monthly. Unemployment figures are cyclical and tend to vary significantly between the end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new one.

The employment rate in January 2009 was at 90.5% (11,430,173 people), rising from 89.8% (10,962,403 people) in January 2008, which reflects an increase of 467,770 works. Of these, 241,932 are men and 225,838 are women.

According to an INE press release, employment in the formal sector of the economy increased by 230,987 people compared to last year, reaching 57.5% in January 2009.

Eljuri emphasized that despite the global economic crisis, the results from the January 2009 Labor Force report is creating positive expectations for upcoming months.

This report used a sample of over 17 thousand people aged fifteen or over, and nearly 6 thousand homes.  The study took place between January 5th and February 1st of 2009, and took into account the country’s entire population with the exceptions of indigenous people living in rainforests, and residents of federal dependencies, hospitals, hotels, military barracks, jails and other collectives, as well as those that live in towns with less than ten houses.

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office/ March 5, 2009

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