Colombia's urban jobless rate rose to 16.8% in October, from 10.4% in the same month of 2019, the government statistics agency said. The national unemployment rate was 14.7%, up from 9.8% YoY, and a drop of 1.1 percentage points from September 2020, the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic began, which raised it to record levels. Nearly 70% of the workforce is in large cities.
Coal production in Colombia, the world's fifth-largest exporter of the fuel, fell 47.2% in the third quarter amid a national coronavirus lockdown and an ongoing strike at the Cerrejon mine. The South American country produced 11 million tonnes of coal between July and September, down from 20.8 million tonnes in the year-ago period, the mines and energy ministry and national mining agency said in a joint statement. Mining royalties in the third quarter totaled ca $91.8 million.
According to a report by the Financial Superintendency, between January and September 2020 the financial sector recorded profits of $6.7 billion. Although the figure is positive, it is lower than that obtained in the same period last year, when profits amounted to $20.7 billion.
Gold, nickel and emeralds increased their production in Colombia during the third quarter of 2020 compared to the second quarter, according to the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy. Gold production in the third quarter of 2020 increased by more than 57% YoY. Compared to the second quarter of 2020, production gre by 42%, going from ten to 14.17 tons.
This Monday the Colombian Government signed the co-financing agreement for the construction of the Medellín Light railway, which guarantees the resources that the government will provide for the execution of the project, as well as the terms and conditions under which the parties concur. The project spans 13.5 kilometers and 17 stations, and will have an investment of $972 million, of which the state resources will be $667 million.
The Colombian coal mine Cerrejón and its largest union of workers reached an agreement on Monday to end a 91-day strike, the longest in history at the mining complex, and restart operations from Tuesday, the company reported. "The strike had started on August 31 after the parties failed to reach an agreement on wage increases and other health, education and housing benefits for workers. Cerrejón, owned in equal parts by BHP Group, Anglo American and Glencore, is an integrated mining and transportation complex in the department of La Guajira, in northeastern Colombia, which includes an open pit mine, a 150-kilometer railway line and a maritime port on the Caribbean Sea.