Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): All the jobs lost due to the pandemic are recovered and the employment rate rises sharply

The number of employed workers reached 9.16 million in April, higher than what was registered before the arrival of the coronavirus in the country.

After three months without carrying it out, the Catholic University returned with its employment survey this Tuesday, showing a diagnosis of the Chilean labor market during the first week of April and reporting very positive figures on the recovery of employment. The total number of employed people, according to the survey, is 9.16 million people, thus exceeding for the first time the number of employed workers registered before the covid-19 pandemic settled in the country in March 2020.

The level of employment during the first week of April is, in total, 96 thousand jobs higher than the one existing prior to the arrival of the coronavirus in the national territory. The employment rate also recovered strongly, reaching 57.2%. In other words, it only remains to go up 1 percentage point (pp.) to return to the level that the Chilean labor market exhibited in the pre-pandemic era (58.2%).

The total number of employed people, according to the survey, is 9.16 million people, thus exceeding for the first time the number of employed workers registered before the covid-19 pandemic settled in the country in March 2020.

In any case, the economist and director of the Center for Surveys and Longitudinal Studies of the UC , David Bravo, commented that although the level of employed people was recovered prior to the arrival of the coronavirus, two years have passed since the start of the health crisis and the population of working age has increased by 447 thousand people. Therefore, he commented that to have the same pre-pandemic employment rate, it would be necessary to have a total number of 9.33 million employed people. Specifically, there are still another 165,000 jobs to recover.

By gender, women will register an employment level of 3.97 million workers, higher than the 3.84 million registered before March 2020. As the female employment rate is 48.6% in April and this level exceeds In the pre-pandemic, women recovered from the crisis earlier than men. The latter indicated an employment level of 5.19 million, almost the same as the 5.23 million prior to the crisis. The male employment rate, meanwhile, climbed to 66.2% in April, 2.4 percentage points lower than the pre-Covid era.

Men still need to recover 188 jobs, 36,000 to reach the same number and another 152,000 due to the increase in the active population. On the other hand, the level of salaried jobs was 1.6% lower than in the pre-pandemic period and the number of private home workers is still 5.9% lower.

Women will register an employment level of 3.97 million workers, higher than the 3.84 million registered before March 2020. As the female employment rate is 48.6% in April and this level exceeds the pre-pandemic, women recovered from the crisis earlier than men.

The situation of self-employed workers is different, who exceeded the pre-crisis record by 215,000 people, leaving 9.6% higher. In turn, the labor participation rate continues to be lower, this time by 2.2 pp. to what it was before covid-19. All in all, it has recovered by 13.4 points since July 2020 – when the coronavirus hit the labor market the hardest – and is at the highest level since the start of the pandemic, noting a recovery of 86%. Likewise, a total of 569 thousand people declared that they would have been looking for work if the health crisis existed: 224 thousand men and 345 thousand women.

“The goal of the rate is to return to 58.2%, we see that it is 57.2%. It is a very important jump, two points in the employment rate. That jump means that we have already passed the absolute number of jobs that we had before the pandemic, because there are still jobs to be recovered precisely because the population increased along the way”- David Bravo UC economist

Bravo also highlighted that as the labor participation rate approaches its pre-crisis levels, the “distortion” of the unemployment rate decreases, which stood at 6.1% in April, and at 8.2% if you add the people who would look for work without a pandemic. Meanwhile, during the first week of April, 13.8% of those employed worked at least one hour in remote work mode, that is, a total of 1.26 million workers.

David Bravo: “This is good news”
The economist and director of the UC Center for Surveys and Longitudinal Studies, David Bravo, stressed that “this is good news, in the sense that we have recovered all the jobs that were lost in the pandemic. In fact, we have close to 100 a thousand jobs above the level we had before. This is the photo as of April 10.” “The goal of the rate is to return to 58.2%, we see that it is 57.2%. It is a very important jump, two points in the employment rate. That jump means that we have already passed the absolute number of jobs that we had before the pandemic, because there are still jobs to be recovered precisely because the population increased along the way,” he added.

In addition, the economist highlighted that the Metropolitan Region recovered its situation prior to the crisis. This, “not only in number but also in its rate, almost two points higher. The Metropolitan Region considered the pandemic over,” he assured, with an occupancy rate that reached 61.9%, when before the arrival of covid-19 it was 60.1%.

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