Medellin Unemployment Rate Hits 21.6% on Covid-19 Crisis; IMF Sees Rebound in 2021
Colombia’s national economic statistics agency (DANE) announced June 30 that the Covid-19 crisis — now starting its fifth month — predictably has caused massive unemployment nationally as well as locally as a result of quarantines and strict biosafety controls.
According to the latest DANE bulletin, the Colombia national unemployment rate skyrocketed to 21.4% in May 2020 — more than double the 10.5% unemployment rate in May 2019.
Medellin similarly saw its unemployment rate soar to 21.6% in May 2020, versus 12.4% in May 2019, DANE found.
The worst-hit city is Neiva at 32.8% unemployment, followed by Ibague (31.7%); Armenia (30.4%); Popayan (29.7%); Riohacha (29.3%); Cucuta (29.2%); and Florencia (27%).
Cali unemployment hit 23%; Bogota 19.2% and Cartagena 16% in May 2020, according to DANE.
In total, 4.9 million Colombians lost their jobs in May 2020, while the 13 biggest cities saw employment numbers drop by 2.4 million year-on-year, according to DANE.
Commercial trades and vehicle repair sectors were worst hit, followed by manufacturing, according to DANE.
Recent gradual reopenings of many economic sectors are likely to stem further losses in 2020. However, major employers including restaurants, airlines/airports, inter-city buses, hotels and tourism continue to suffer massive employment losses, with future reopenings still uncertain.
While the Medellin metro area has begun a few “pilot” restaurant reopenings this week, airport/airline restarts at both Olaya Herrera (downtown, national flights) and Rionegro (international and national flights) are still banned as mayors in the metro area have NOT unanimously agreed-upon any reopenings — not even “pilot” test routes.
IMF Sees Colombia GDP Growing 4% in 2021
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just updated its latest gross domestic product (PIB in Spanish initials) outlook for Colombia, seeing a 7.8% net decline in PIB this year but a 4% positive growth in PIB in 2021 — a significant rebound.