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News > Ecuador

Ecuador Will Lose at Least 550,000 Jobs, Central Bank Admits

  • Worker in a banana plantation, Ecuador, 2020.

    Worker in a banana plantation, Ecuador, 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @ElCiudadano_ec

Published 21 August 2020

This South American country is going through its worst economic contraction since 1927.

The Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE) forecasts that up to 550,000 jobs will be lost in 2020. This will happen because the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could easily decrease between 7.3 and 9.6 percent.


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"It is the worst economic contraction on record since we began keeping macroeconomic statistics in 1927," the BCE Manager Veronica Artola acknowledged.

Previously, international organizations estimated that the Ecuadorean GDP could decrease between 6.3 and 7.4 percent. Some recent corrections to the quarterly macroeconomic accounts, however, suggest that the drop could be as high as 10 percent.

From March to May, during the pandemic's first three months, Ecuador lost US$6.2 billion, of which US$5.2 billion were private-sector losses. That amount, which is equivalent to 3.8 percent of the 2019 GDP, confirms the scenario for 2020, as Artola explained.

The highest production drops will occur in construction activities (-7.1 percent), oil refining (-6.7 percent), tourism (-4.9 percent), and education and social services (-4.7 percent).

Unemployment has skyrocketed and almost 345,000 jobs have been lost so far. According to the Ecuadorean Social Security Institute (IESS), 240,000 people who had formal jobs have been disenrolled.

As of Friday morning, Ecuador had reported 105,508 COVID-19 cases, 6,200 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, and 3,609 probable deaths.

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