Unemployment Rate Decreases
Friday, 20 April, 2007 | 15:12 WIB

Tempo Interactive, Jakarta: The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) said that the unemployment rate in 2006 decreased compared to previous years. The drop in unemployment was seen after the BPS surveyed the national work force in February 2007. “The unemployment rate was down. However, the precise rate cannot be said,” head of the BPS Rusman Heriawan told Tempo yesterday (04/19) in Jakarta.

In addition to the work force survey in March 2007, the BPS also surveyed the poverty rate. Officially, the BPS will announce the survey in May. “That (unemployment rate) will be announced at the same time with (the announcement of) the gross domestic product,” said Rusman.

He denied if February and March were chosen deliberately to obtain results that support the government's program. The survey period, he said, was indeed scheduled and based on the surveying cycle.

Based on data of the National Planning Agency, the number of unemployed people in November 2005 was 11.9 million or 11.2 percent of the total work force. In August 2006, the amount of unemployed went down to 10.39 million or 10.28 percent of the total work force.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Boediono admitted that economic growth the last few years was not yet sufficient to reduce the unemployed . In order to absorb new workers, he said, economic growth must be above seven percent. “If the growth were only 5.6 percent, it would not be enough to absorb the unemployed. The government must increase it to 6.5-7 percent. In fact, if it could, it should touch 7 percent,” he said yesterday.

KURNIASIH BUDI | AGUS SUPRIYANTO
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