Nearshore Americas
IMF Latin America

Economic Slowdown is Failing LatAm Labor Market: ECLAC Study

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says that years of anemic economic growth is damaging the region’s labor market, predicting that the unemployment rate would jump to 9.4% by the end of this year.

In its survey, conducted in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency found that urban unemployment increased by an average of 0.9% in the first half of this year.

The regional trend was of course influenced by the weak performance of Brazil’s labor market. Now that the Brazil’s economy is seeing a slight upturn, employment indicators are starting to stabilize, the report noted.

Therefore the region will likely find ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’, says the report, pointing to a slowdown in what it called ‘labor market deterioration’.

Considering the report, new formal jobs are barely available in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay, but Central America and Mexico have been somewhat successful in creating formal employment.

Wages are rising in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Uruguay, but declining in Mexico and Peru.

In other countries of the region, labor market performance has generally been more favorable, especially in Central America, the study indicated.

In about six countries, the creation of self-employment was more dynamic than the creation of salaried jobs during the first half of 2017.

The document says there are some ‘structural problems’ hindering the arrival of young people in the labor market.

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“Young people’s paths into the labor market in the region are found to be generally much longer than in the developed countries, something that is heavily shaped by the role of women, often still centered on care giving and household activities,” commented Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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