Six out of 10 people have full employment in Cuenca, the highest rate in the country. The Azuay capital also registers the highest labor income.
The situation of the labor market in Cuenca stands out in the first quarter of 2022. This is evidenced by the latest National Survey of Employment, Unemployment and Underemployment (Enemdu), published on April 29, 2022.
Six out of 10 people of working age had an adequate job in Cuenca, between January and March 2022.
This is in contrast to the national reality. In Ecuador, barely three out of 10 people in the Economically Active Population (PEA) worked the legal day, 40 hours a week or more; or earned at least the basic salary of $425 a month.
Of the five cities in which the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) analyzes the labor market, Cuenca is the one with the highest rate of full employment, which is 55%.
It’s followed by Quito, where 48.5% of the EAP has a suitable job; and Guayaquil, with 44.5%.
Production, sales, tourism spur jobs
In the first quarter of 2022, the improvement in the Cuenca labor market, which also registered a decrease in unemployment, is due to three factors, according to Rodrigo Cordero, President of the Chamber of Industries, Production and Employment (Cipem).
The first factor is the reactivation of the productive sector, due to the progress of the vaccination process and the relaxation of mobility restrictions and distancing to avoid contagion of Covid-19.
“Industry has an important participation in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Cuenca,” says Cordero.
According to the Central Bank, Cuenca’s manufacturing industries represent 21% of the city’s economic activity.
For example, there are companies dedicated to the production of ceramics, appliances and furniture in Cuenca.
Second says Cordero is that the reactivation of the industry, together with greater control of Covid-19 infections, led to a better performance of the commercial sector, which has meant an increase in jobs.
Finally, Cordero says employment in Cuenca is also recovering due to the reactivation of the tourism sector, where private companies invested millions of dollars to restore heritage houses and convert them into modern hotels, restaurants and terraces.
“The flow of tourists arriving in Cuenca, especially from the coast of the country, has increased” says Cordero
He pointed out that the restrictions that were imposed in other countries motivated Ecuadorians to travel within the country.
However, the city’s tourism development is slowing down due to road connection problems, added Cordero.
Higher paychecks in Cuenca
The recovery of full employment in Cuenca has meant that the median labor income of people in that city has improved.
Between January and March 2022, the median income in Cuenca was $343.
The median is the midpoint of the available data in a series. The $343 in the first quarter of 2022 is $26 above the median income for the January-March period of last year.
The increase in the median labor income responds to a growth in the hours that a person dedicates to work, which in Cuenca are just over 38 hours a week.