Some 7.6 million people out of Indonesia’s workforce of 122 million was out of a job in August, compared to 7.24 million, or 5.9 percent, in the same month last year. (JG Photo/Syarifah Ryaclaudia)

Indonesia Unemployment Rises Amid Sluggish Economy

BY :TABITA DIELA

NOVEMBER 06, 2015

Jakarta. The unemployment rate in Indonesia to 6.18 percent in August amid layoffs by businesses hit with a slowdown in consumer demand brought on by the slowest pace of economic growth in six years.

Some 7.6 million people out of Indonesia’s workforce of 122 million was out of a job in August, compared to 7.24 million, or 5.9 percent, in the same month last year, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Agency, or BPS.

“The economy is slowing, domestically and globally. It just can’t be helped that unemployment rose,” Darmin Nasution, the coordinating minister for the economy, said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Indonesia barely rebounded from its slowest growth pace since 2009 to expand 4.73 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2015, up from 4.67 percent in the second quarter.

In response to the slowdown, the administration of President Joko Widodo has since September rolled out a series of policy reform packages intended to stimulate growth, the latest of which was announced on Thursday and offered hefty incentives to foreign investors to set up businesses in special economic zones.

“We hope that the stimulus packages will help create more jobs in the medium term,” Darmin said, adding that next year the government would rely on ramped-up infrastructure spending to boost job growth.

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