The president created by decree Thursday a jobs program that will benefit some 5,000 unemployed persons over the next year by putting them to work in what officials said were community projects, training programs and other socially productive jobs.
The project is called Manos a la Obra or”hands to work” and will be supported by a 3 billion colon investment by the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, the nation’s major anti-poverty agency.
The program comes as President Laura Chinchilla Miranda is trying to get a major tax increase passed in the legislature to offset a ballooning central government deficit.
The program also comes after the announcement of static unemployment figures for the country by the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censo.
The program price tag in dollars is about $6 million. The individual direct payments will range from 50,000 to 100,000 colons a month, said Casa Presidencial.
That’s about $100 to $200.
In addition, the government will provide an initial bonus for the purchase of tools, protective equipment or uniforms if they are not provided by the entity giving the participant a job. The government also will reimburse the participant for a personal workmen’s compensation insurance policy if one is not otherwise provided, and health insurance. The government also will provide training with the goal of putting the participant in the workforce after completion of the program, said Casa Presidencial.
The projects of community interest will be under the direction of municipalities, community development organizations, infant care facilities, rural water companies and other emergency, welfare and cooperatives, said Casa Presidencial. The Ministerio de Trabajo also has some programs that will accept participants, officials said.
The survey by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo that was released Monday showed a tiny rise in unemployment from 7.3 percent in 2010 to 7.7 percent this year. Some 6.4 percent of householders were in extreme poverty, the survey report said. However, the unemployment increase was within the error range of the survey and was not significant statistically, the institute report said.