Economic Reforms, Growth and Employment

Labour Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Labour conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean have long been a cause for concern. Despite relatively high economic growth rates, a large part of labour force was excluded from productive activities. This publication analyzes the evolution of Latin American and Caribbean labour markets in the 1990s and the impact of the economic reforms on them. The analysis makes it clear that the region faces a major challenge in the coming years, both in increasing the number of jobs and in improving job quality.




The economic reforms that were implemented throughout the region in recent decades raised expectations that labour markets would perform better. It was thought that with the elimination of the distortions that characterized the previous development model, higher and more labour-intensive economic growth would hasten job creation. In fact, the region’s labour markets underwent profound change in the 1990s as a result of economic restructuring and changes in labour market institutions.


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