SANTIAGO – Chilean unemployment was 6.1 percent during the rolling quarter that ended Feb. 28, down 0.1 percent from November-January but level with the rate in February 2014, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said Tuesday.
Analysts had forecast a jobless rate of 6.3 percent for the period.
The quarterly decline in unemployment was attributable to a 0.2 percent drop in the size of the workforce, INE said.
The employment index dipped 0.1 percent to 56.1 percent, while the workforce participation rate stood at 59.8 percent, 0.2 lower than in November-January.
Of the 8.5 million people in the workforce during the December-February period, 519,600 were without jobs.
Unemployment was 6 percent in the Santiago metropolitan region, which is home to nearly 40 percent of the Chilean labor force, compared with 6.1 percent in November-January.
The largest year-on-year increases in employment were in the utilities sector, up 22.1 percent; hotels and restaurants, 10.2 percent; and fishing, which saw a gain of 9.5 percent, the report said.