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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1997-1998

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1997-1998

The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1997-1998 is the fiftieth edition in this series. To mark this milestone, a special chapter has been included in this edition which traces the history of the publication and outlines the way in which the economic situation in the region has been viewed during each of the periods examined. Once again, the Survey has been published as a single volume consisting of three parts. Part 1 contains an overview of the economy in 1997 and the first half of 1998. Part 2 presents reports on the 20 countries of Latin American and on the situation in the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean. Part 3 reviews the 50 years of the Survey.

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Employment and wages

At the regional level, a moderate improvement was seen in the labour market as the pace of economic growth accelerated, and employment and average labour productivity both rose substantially. A small decline was also registered in open unemployment -from 7.7% to 7.3%-but even so the latter rate was still the second highest of the decade. This fact attests to the seriousness of the labour situation in many countries, although it is also true that the figure for the region as a whole was influenced by Brazil's sluggish rate of job creation. Meanwhile, the regional averages for mean and minimum wage levels rose in real terms.

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