By Nathan Gill
March 31 (Bloomberg) — Chilean government spending will help create jobs, Finance Minister Andres Velasco said today after the unemployment rate rose to a two-year high last month.
The government’s $4 billion economic stimulus package and “solid and credible” institutions will allow Chile to limit the damage from the global financial crisis and add jobs to the economy, Velasco said at a conference in Santiago.
“Every job lost in Chile worries us,” Velasco said to reporters after his speech. “This is why the government has come forward with measures at the right time, so that credit gets to small- and medium-size businesses, to families and creates jobs.”
Chile’s unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in the three months through February, up from 8 percent in the three months through January, the National Statistics Institute said today.
President Michelle Bachelet’s government on March 29 announced new steps to ease restrictions on lending to consumers and small businesses in an effort to stimulate the economy.