LA PAZ -- President Evo Morales' government plans to create 259,000 jobs in Bolivia this year with record-setting public investment and a welfare housing plan, the local press reported Friday.
Development Planning Minister Carlos Villegas said in the central city of Cochabamba that the creation of that number of jobs will slash the unemployment rate from 7.13 percent to 6.81 percent, according to the daily La Razon de La Paz.
Villegas said that public investment will allow the creation of 79,748 direct and 139,489 indirect jobs.
Public investment for 2009 is budgeted to reach a record $1.8 billion, $800 million more than in 2007, and will be directed mainly towards road construction and irrigation infrastructure for farms.
In addition, the Morales administration has requested state petroleum company YPFB for an unprecedented investment of $1 billion as part of the government's total planned investment this year of $2.8 billion.