Economic Reforms, Growth and Employment

Labour Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean

image of Economic Reforms, Growth and Employment

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 transformation of the labour force: The evolution of labour supply in the 1990s

The way in which the economically active population (EAP) develops is determined by demographic trends and the degree to which the working age population offers its labour in the labour market. The progression of the demographic transition has caused the annual growth rate of the working age population to fall in Latin America and the Caribbean, thus lessening the pressure on the labour market. At the same time, the new cohorts entering the market have higher levels of formal education, which improves their chances of productive integration in the workforce, although serious doubts persist as to the quantitative and qualitative results of the region’s education systems.


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