Given the figure of 24.4% unemployment in the country announced by the National Institute of Censuses and Statistics (INEC), the Government of the Republic presented a series of actions aimed at caring for and improving employment in the face of the impact caused by the pandemic by COVID-19.
According to the analysis of the institution for the moving quarter between May and July, the interannual difference in the unemployment rate means a growth of 12.9 percentage points and 270 thousand people. The study presented the previous month determined an unemployment rate of 24%, while in this latest update it determines it at 24.4%. This affectation strikes women more strongly with a rate of 30.2 points.
To stimulate employment opportunities, the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, announced the authorization of flights from 7 more states of the United States as of September 15 and another as of October 1, for a total of 20 states. with said authorization. In this way, the safe reopening of air borders with strategic markets will allow the recovery of the important chain of jobs generated by international tourism, especially in rural areas.
On the other hand, the Minister of Planning and Economic Policy, Pilar Garrido, announced that $ 300 million will be allocated from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), to finance the creation of a guarantee fund aimed at around 18 thousand companies to which It is difficult for them to access credit due to losses in recent months. The fund will make it possible to obtain better conditions in terms of rates and terms and commits employers to maintain current employment conditions and increase them over time.
These resources would be approved by the Technical Secretariat of the Budgetary Authority tomorrow and sent immediately to the Legislative Assembly for their respective processing.
This is part of a strategy of easy and responsible access to credit to protect employment and generate better conditions in rates and terms for the companies affected in recent months. The guarantees are complemented by an injection of ₡ 700 billion from the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) for this purpose.
This contribution from the BCCR joins other policy measures aimed at improving this access, such as the reduction in interest rates or the regulatory adjustments of Sugef and Conassif to allow readjustments and extensions of credits. The main objective of these measures is to protect and improve employment in the country.
These announcements are given on the second day of the controlled reopening that will allow micro, small, medium and large entrepreneurs to resume their work activities with the greatest care and reduction of risks in the face of COVID-19.
For Geannina Dinarte, minister of labor and social security, the actions announced by the Government will make it possible to face the strong blow to employment caused by the pandemic, “the credits with better conditions, the reactivation of tourism with strategic markets and the funds announced will be the point starting point for the recovery of many commercial activities, especially for the most affected sectors such as tourism, rural areas and women ”.
These efforts to recover the economy and employment have been accompanied by extraordinary actions to protect people who lost their jobs or saw their income decreased during the emergency, which have allowed 684,735 people to benefit from the Protect Bonus, bring food rations to 855 thousand students as part of the student canteen program and distribute food packages and cleaning supplies to more than 300 thousand families.