The working paper series Documentos de Trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana is published by Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia). The findings and opinions are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of Banco de la República or its Board of Directors.
The opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Banco de la República or its Board of Directors..
The Colombian rural labor market differs significantly from the urban labor market not only in the job composition, which is substantially different, but also in the problems it faces. In this paper, I identify three stylized facts of the rural labor market that deserve priority attention: i) female labor participation is very low compared to men’s participation in rural markets and with respect to women located in the urban areas and, in additional to that, women in the rural areas face a higher unemployment rate than men and urban women; ii) rural labor informality rates are significantly higher than urban ones and rural pension coverage is precarious (less than 15% for the entire period analyzed); and iii) child labor is still a common practice and although it has declined over time, still a significant proportion of children and adolescents work illegally and, as a consequence, do not attend school.