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Ecuador’s Jobless Rate Rises to 7% on Drought, Trade Pact

Ecuador’s unemployment rate rose from a record low in first quarter as a drought in the nation’s coastal region and the loss of a trade accord with the U.S. hurt crops and agriculture exporters.

Joblessness rose to 7 percent in January-through-March period, up from 6.1 percent in three months through December, the country’s National Statistics & Census Institute reported today in a report on its website. The fourth-quarter result was the lowest since the government began the series in 1998.