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Chile: Frosts cause agricultural sector 75,900 jobs

The agricultural sector recorded a loss of 75,900 jobs last quarter, from August to October, reflecting for the first time the negative impact of the frosts in the sector's labour, according to a report of the Research Department of the National Society of Agriculture (SNA).

"This result reflects the negative effects of the frosts on agricultural jobs," says the document. "The agricultural sector employed 616,400 people between August and October this year, a figure well below the 692,200 people that were employed in the same period last year.

This represents an 11% decrease, a stark contrast to the 3.4% expansion experienced by the rest of the economic sectors in the same quarter and the increase by 2.1% of total employment in the country, supported by the dynamism of trade, services and construction.

The biggest loss of agricultural jobs was recorded between the Metropolitan Region and Maule. The Metropolitan Region was the most affected area with 27,400 fewer jobs, followed by Maule (-14,900), O'Higgins (-10.000) and Valparaiso (7300).

"These results certainly break the favourable cyclical trend expected at this time of year when, normally, the employment in agriculture usually starts increasing. This evidence justifies the authorities concern to counter the negative effects of the recent frosts, implementing measures to assist workers who haven't been able to find employment in the sector," said Ema Budinich, manager of the SNA's Research Department, in the report.

Apart from this years decrease in jobs due to the frosts, there is a decreasing trend in agricultural employment due to the migration of workers to other sectors and the greater introduction of machinery into agricultural work.


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