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Job offers complete almost two years of declines

The labor market is beginning to show better figures, after years in which it was hit hard by the social crisis and then the pandemic. The INE Employment Survey revealed that for the January-March 2024 quarter The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point in its annual measurement, standing at 8.7%, the first drop since October 2022. With this, the unemployed reached 884,546 people. And now job offers are also showing some signs of recovery.

This Thursday the Central Bank reported that its Internet Job Notices index, published monthly by the issuing institute, reached 42.3 points in April, which is equivalent to a drop of 7.3% compared to the same month last year. With this data, the indicator has 23 consecutive year-on-year declines (the first in June 2022) and is 60% below its peak, in August 2021 (106.1 points).

However, despite being a new drop, it is the smallest in year-on-year terms since May 2022, and the first in just single digits. Compared to the previous month – without adjusting for seasonality – the index rose 16.4%, its first monthly increase since November of last year.

This indicator corresponds to the simple average of the notices published in the main web employment portals in Chile, with national coverage, and allows monitoring how employment will be with the online job offers that are offered month by month.

This indicator, in general, shows a behavior similar to what happens with the salaried employment data from the INE Employment Survey, although with a lag, which can typically be greater than one month, due to the time it takes for the places to be filled.

The director of the Observatory of the Economic Context of the Diego Portales University (OCEC-UDP), Juan Bravo, points out that “the interannual figures continue to show contraction compared to the previous year, but they show us a significant moderation of the fall, with a decrease of 7 .3% in April, a much more moderate drop than the 32.5% annual decline in March. This reveals a labor market that remains weakened, where formal job opportunities are still scarce, but that is gradually recovering, in line with what other sources of information on formal dependent employment in the private sector are showing.”

In this context, he points out that the economy is already close to its trend growth, although it still needs to strengthen. “In addition, we will not have a radical change in the rates of economic growth during 2024, but rather it is a slight improvement, where although we will be better than in 2023, the forecasts point to growth around its trend level, that is, we are speaking of a growth figure that would be slightly over 2%.”

Another fact to consider, says Bravo, is that people who currently have a job but are actively looking for another one are growing at rates of 20.6% annually, which increases pressure on the labor market.

“This is because many people, to avoid unemployment, entered jobs with working conditions with which they are not satisfied. However, this group competes for jobs with the unemployed, which puts pressure on the labor market,” he notes.

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