CARACAS, Friday January 18, 2013 | Update
JOBLESS | At 5.9%

Unemployment hits 806,496 Venezuelans in December

Somewhat over half of labor force last month worked in the formal sector of economy

Unemployment rate in Venezuela lowered a little bit (File photo)
Friday January 18, 2013  01:45 PM
Unemployment rate in Venezuela stood at 5.9% in December, a 0.7% slump below the same term in 2011, based on a report on labor prepared by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

In absolute terms, this means 806,496 jobless last month. In December 2011, unemployment rate stood at 6.5%, that is, 885,149 people.

Last month featured 12,932,816 people with a job, including 7,503,251, or 58% in the formal sector of economy. The remainder -5,428,791- works on their own or as street vendors.

In the meantime, unemployment in December accounted for 35.5%, which is tantamount to 7,577,545 people. Such profile pools the individuals who opted to study, or engaged in housekeeping, or claimed to be unable to work.
Ailing healthcare system seeking a cure

The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.

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