Ecuador is “on the path to economic recovery,” President Guillermo Lasso said Tuesday night in his weekly television commentary. “Unemployment is at the lowest level in years and the rate of full-time employment is very close to pre-pandemic status,” he said.
In addition, Lasso said that there has been “strong improvement” in the reduction of poverty and inequality indexes and that GDP growth has exceeded expectations.
“What is most important in our latest reports is that 443,000 new jobs have been created from May 2021 to December 2022,” Lasso said. “This means more income and more relief for Ecuadorian families.
In his comments, the president said full-time, or “adequate” employment has reached 36%, which he called a “dramatic improvement” from the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is still far below what we hope to achieve but it is important to know we are going in the right direction. “It is critical that we encourage business growth through new investment so that more jobs are created. I will continue to support laws and policies to support business expansion but I need the support of the Ecuadorian people,” he said.
Overall, unemployment has dropped to 4.7%, he added.
Lasso cited GDP growth of 3.2% as an indication that the economy is on the mend. “The World Bank predicted our economy would grow by only 1.8% in 2022 and the Central Bank believed it would be 2.7% but we have exceeded these numbers,” he said.
Lasso said rural areas of the country continue to lag behind urban areas in employment and development. According to Central Bank statistics, full-time employment rose from 41% to 45% in larger cities, with Quito and Cuenca topping 50%. “We have much work to do in rural areas and small towns and I am proposing solutions to the disparity,” he said.
He added that Ecuador has the lowest level of unemployment since 2007 and that 1,100,000 Ecuadorians have emerged from poverty since then. “The data also shows that income inequality has improved in the last two years. My goals is to improve the lives of all Ecuadorians and this means focusing on the suffering that remains,” he said.