SANTIAGO – Unemployment in Chile rose half a percentage point to 6.6 percent during the March-May rolling quarter, the National Statistics Institute said Tuesday.
Economists had forecast a jobless rate of 6.3 for the three months that ended May 31.
Much of the quarterly increase can be attributed to 0.3 percent growth in the workforce, the INE said, while noting that the economically active population fell 1.4 percent on an interannual basis, as retirements increased 4 percent.
The employment rate slipped 0.1 percent to 55.8 percent, representing 7.97 million people, in March-May, but the workforce participation rate edged up by the same increment to 59.7 percent.
Unemployment among men advanced 0.3 percent to 5.7 percent. The jobless rate for Chilean women rose 0.6 percent to 7.8 percent.
Greater Santiago, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the national workforce, saw joblessness climb by 0.2 percent to 6.8 percent.
The remote northern region of Atacama had the highest unemployment rate, 8 percent, compared with a low of 3.5 percent in Los Lagos, in the south.