Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2008-2009

Policies for Creating Quality Jobs

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This publication comes at a critical point in the economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean region. A growth phase that the region's recent history cannot equal in nature and duration has come to an end and output is contracting. The first part of this edition looks at the channels through which the crisis is affecting the economies of the region and its impact on variables such as economic growth, employment and external-sector indicators. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the countries and concludes with a discussion of the outlook for the second half of the year. The second part discusses policies for creating quality jobs, including challenges and opportunities for labor institutions and labor markets, labor-market policies for youth and women. This CD-ROM also contains the electronic versions of the printed publication. The statistical information reflects data available up to 30 June 2009.




The Bahamian economy contracted by 1.7% in 2008, as against growth of 0.7% in 2007. The downturn in major markets, especially in the second half of the year, led to a slump in demand for tourism services and a sharp fall in foreign direct investment (FDI) that dampened construction activity. Real value added in financial services was buoyant in 2008. Reflecting the impact of higher fuel and food prices, inflation leaped far above trend to 4.6%, compared with 2.8% in 2007. One of the knock-on effects of the rapid decline in activity levels in the second semester was a spike in unemployment, which reached 12.1% at the end of December, a far higher rate than the 7.9% recorded in December 2008.


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