Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2008-2009

Policies for Creating Quality Jobs

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2008-2009

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.




Economic growth in Latin America between 2003 and 2008 had a positive effect on the labour market, as the resulting rise in employment pushed down the unemployment rate and increased job quality. This contributed to a significant reduction in poverty and indigence rates during the period. This positive trend did not, however, prevent a continuation of the region’s serious labour problems and their ongoing manifestations in the form of unemployment, underemployment, job insecurity and informality. In this context, the conditions of certain groups of workers are especially unfavourable, such as the least skilled and, within this group, women and young people in particular. Furthermore, the deficiencies in the region’s labour markets often generate dramatically unequal income distribution and poverty situations from which many people are unable to escape —even when they are employed.


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