The latest data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show that 7.02 million of the country's total workforce of 127.8 million people were unemployed in February, representing an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)

Indonesia's Unemployment Rate Drops as Many Leave the Workforce

BY :TABITA DIELA

MAY 04, 2016

Jakarta. Indonesia's unemployment rate was lower in February compared with the same month a year ago, but there were also fewer people in the workforce, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Agency, or BPS, released on Wednesday (04/05).

The BPS data show that 7.02 million of the country's total workforce of 127.8 million people were unemployed in February, representing an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.

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That compares to 7.45 million unemployed people in February last year, representing 5.81 percent of the total workforce of 128.3 million at that time. The BPS defines an employed person as someone older than 15 years, who works at least one hour per week.

The number of people working less than 35 hours a week also rose to 36.3 million, from 35.7 million a year ago, painting a grim picture of the availability of permanent jobs.

The BPS noted that the number of people who left the workforce since last year increased to 3.6 million. This includes those who return to school or take up unpaid domestic jobs — such as mothers giving up their jobs to return to housekeeping and raising children. The agency did not provide any details regarding the number of people who left the workforce during the previous year.

The number people working in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors – the largest providers of jobs in the country – declined by 4.5 percent to 38.3 million and 2.5 percent to 15.9 million, respectively.

Employment in trade, on the other hand rose 6.9 percent to 28.5 million from a year ago.

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