Unemployment in the DR has decreased since the early 1990's, but at an irregular
rate with a considerable upswing during 2000-2004. This increase was due primarily
to the deterioration of economic activity during the banking crisis and the unwise
policies subsequently implemented by the government to respond to the crisis.
This macroeconomic upheaval reduced the quality of life in the DR, not only because
of price increases but also losses in income and decreased job opportunities.
The Leonel Fernández administration, which entered office in 2004, has
modified certain social policies to benefit the unemployed and the country's poorest
populations. Since then, unemployment levels have fallen again (as of 2005), though
they have not returned to the lowest levels seen in the year 2000 (13.9%).
Rates of Unemployment in the DR
Rates of Unemployment in the DR - Source: Social
Information Unit - Technical Secretary of the Presidency of the Dominican Republic
According to the VIII National Population and Housing Census of 2002, highest
rates of unemployment are found in the provinces of Santo Domingo, Distrito
Nacional, Santiago, San Cristóbal, La Vega, San Pedro de Macorís,
Puerto Plata, and San Juan de la Maguana. In terms of the total employed population
of the country, the areas of Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Santiago, San
Cristóbal, La Vega, San Pedro de Macorís, Puerto Plata, and Duarte
contain 66.3% of the country's total working population.
According to national unemployment statistics for 2005, 63% of the DR's unemployed
are between 20 and 39 years old. On the other hand, women account for just 34%
of employed people in the country. Men account for 66%.
In an effort to reduce unemployment levels in the country, President Leonel
Fernández declared 2006 the Year of Job Creation (Decree No. 1-06). This
effort includes support for public and private initiatives that contribute to
the creation of job. The President has proposed the creation of 500,000 new
jobs between 2006-2008.