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LatinNews Daily - 22 February 2021

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In brief: Improvement in Paraguay’s unemployment rate

* Paraguay’s national statistics institute (INE) has released the latest issue of its household survey (EPHC), according to which the national unemployment rate stood at 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020. This is 1.5 percentage points above the unemployment rate recorded in Q4 2019, but represents an improvement on the 8.2% rate in Q3 2020, when the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and related restrictions continued to be felt particularly hard on the labour market. According to the EPHC, 267,000 people were unemployed in the last quarter of 2020, 28,000 fewer than in Q3. To this must be added an underemployment rate of 7.2%, equivalent to 234,000 people. Paraguay’s workforce (which includes the employed and unemployed population) totalled 3.72m in Q4 2020, while 1.42m working age people were outside of the workforce. The INE’s figures show that the employment gap between women and men has widened further with the pandemic; 10.2% of women were unemployed in Q4 2020, up from 7.9% in Q4 2019, compared with 4.9% of men in Q4 2020, up from 4.1% a year earlier.