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.




During 2008, the economy of Jamaica suffered the effects of the worldwide economic downturn through lower export demand, falling commodity prices, slowing in tourism and related economic activities, and stagnation of remittances from abroad. The real economy contracted by an estimated 0.6% and the unemployment rate rose from 9.9% to 10.9%. External accounts deteriorated during 2008, with widening trade and current account deficits and a steady loss of international reserves, raising concerns about exchange rate stability and debt sustainability. The fiscal deficit expanded dangerously, fuelled by lower-than-expected fiscal revenues.


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