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Jakarta Post

Unemployment numbers fall to 6.82 million

  • Made Anthony Iswara and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 7, 2019   /   12:40 pm
Unemployment numbers fall to 6.82 million Statistics Indonesia (BPS) head Suhariyanto (tempo.co/M Julis Firmansyah)

Indonesia’s open unemployment rate slightly dropped to 5.01 percent in February this year from 5.13 percent in the same month last year thanks partly to an increase in employee recruitment by the trade sector, according to the latest unemployment data released by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) on Monday.

The number of unemployed people fell by 50,000 to 6.82 million in February from 6.87 million in the same month last year. However, the unemployment rate in rural areas was 6.3 percent, almost double the rate in urban areas, which was only 3.45 percent.

Based on the level of education, graduates of vocational high schools contributed the most to February’s unemployment with 8.63 percent, followed by associate degree (Diploma 3) holders with 6.89 percent

BPS head Suhariyanto said the informal sector remained an important part of the workforce, accounting for 57.27 percent, 74.08 million people, of nationwide employment, despite a decline by 0.95 percent year-on-year.

The BPS data also showed that the trade industry hired the most people in February last year with 920,000 workers, followed by the food and beverage sector with about 700,000.

On the other hand, in terms of business sectors, agriculture lost 590 workers or 1 percent within a year despite making up most of the national human resources with 29.46 percent. The workforce in government administrations, as well the information and communication sector, also decreased by 0.43 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively.

“We published a report on unemployment twice every year in February and August, but we avoid comparing the current figures with the ones from last August as there are seasonal changes, like the difference in crop seasons, affecting the workforce employment [in agriculture],” Suhariyanto said.

“But looking at these figures, the government should boost the trade and agriculture sectors to employ more workers in the future.” Suhariyanto said. He also pinpointed education as one of the roots of the unemployment problem.(hen)