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Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:51 pm EDT

Unemployment in Panama Drops to 4.5% - Lowest In Modern History

Employment & JobsUnemployment in Panama fell to 4.5% in August 2011, a decrease of one percentage point compared to the most recent measurement of 5.6% in March of this year, said on Thursday the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). The report notes that in rural areas the unemployment rate fell from 3.9% to 2.4%, and in urban areas unemployment fell from 6.4% to 5.4%. The August 2011 unemployment rate is the lowest in at least the last four decades, said the Department of Social and Economic Analysis of the MEF, based on information from the National Institute of Statistics and Census. The report mentioned that the second lowest unemployment rate recorded to date was a 5.1% in 1966. Panama has an economically active population of about 1.5 million people. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: In fact Panama has already reached a "practical level of zero unemployment," meaning that there are many more jobs available than there are people to fill them. These people who are currently unemployed are basically unemployable for several reasons. Either they have little or no formal education, they didn't finish school or are practically illiterate, they have some kind of problems with addiction to either alcohol or drugs, or have a long criminal record. On the other hand, salaries for those people with highly sought after skill sets are quickly rising as employers face more and stiffer competition to find and retain valuable employees. A smart, educated, bilingual manager who is capable of handling almost any situation can practically name their price. The government of Panama is now scraping the bottom of the barrel so to speak, and twisting people's arms to get them to attend some kind of training class to improve their hire-ability. Panama's economy keeps chugging along, growing at a rate of 8.5% this year (at least), so even more jobs are being created as we speak. Sooner or later Panama will be forced to (gently) allow foreigners to come here to work, or risk slowing the economic engine due to a lack of skilled manpower. This unemployment rate of 4.5% is the lowest in modern recorded history.

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