More than 13.6 million Colombians of working age, 35.7% of the population, are out of the workforce

By July 20, 2017

According to recent data released by the National Statistics Administrative Department (DANE), between March and May of this year 13,666,000 working age Colombians, representing 35.7% of the population, were out of work, either due to unemployment or by choice. The amount increased by 0.34% (47,000) from the same period in 2016. Women make up the majority of the unemployed, outnumbering men by 2:1.

Among the 13.6 million that are out of work, 39.8% indicated that they are studying, 40.8% were dedicated to household activities and 19.3% could not find a job or were not looking, Most of these 13.6 million Colombians are not considered in unemployment data, which was set at 9.4% in May 2017. That was an increase of 0.6% from the May 2016.

The population’s participation in the workforce is considered to be a strong indicator with regard to the health of an economy.

Among those who are unemployed, only 45.5% of women are currently employed while 25.4% of men are employed, according to DANE data. This has been a sustained trend for many years in Colombia.

For the period March-May 2017, the DANE reported that female unemployment reached a 12% while male unemployment was 7% this year, decreasing compared to last year’s same period, with the values of 12.1% and 7.3% respectively.

Women in Colombia are primarily employed in commerce, hotels and restaurants, while male employment is predominantly in agriculture, farming, forestry and fishing.


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