Caribbean: The employment rates of the Labour Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean have shown significant growth in 2023. However, the growth and recovery of the sector have been titled “insufficient” in the region by ILO regional officers in the 2023 Labour Overview report.
As per the report, the Labour Market in the region has witnessed an increase of less than 1 per cent in the regional employment rate. Despite that, the growth was still characterized by the persistence of gender gaps, youth unemployment, informality, and loss of purchasing power of wages.
Along with that, the participation of the labour market has faced a decline as it stood at 62.3 per cent in 2023 and 62.5 per cent in 2022. The average unemployment rate of the labour market of the region stood at 6.5 per cent in 2023.
ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Claudia Coenjaerts, said that the recovery has failed to enhance the labour incomes as it is still below pre-pandemic levels despite the improvement in employment rates.
He said that the labour market in Latin America and the Caribbean has witnessed a decline in the purchasing power of wages and called it “a challenge for the quality of life of the families of the region.”
Speaking about rural and urban areas, Roxana Mauirizo- an expert and coordinator of the report, added that there was an improvement in the employment rate for urban areas, while rural employment faced a decline. The scenario has further led to the widening of employment in different communities and turned.
As part of the recovery, the employment in labour supply has witnessed growth as compared to 2019, as the unemployment rate in the urban and rural areas has dropped by 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively.
Coming to the gender gap, the report outlined that female employment has also experienced growth, but the gender gap is very high in Latin America and the Caribbean. The participation of female labour is 23 percent lower than that of men, and the employment rate stood at 22.5 percent. The report also stated that the gender gap is more stringent between different levels of education.
For youth employment, the report said that the unemployment rate for young people is 14.4 percent, which is double the overall rate of 6.5 percent. The rate is even higher and touched to 30 percent in several countries of the region.
The percentage of the average labour market informality rate is 48 in 2023. However, it has increased by 70 percent in several countries.
The report stated that there is need of proper improvement as growth is not sufficient for the development and well-being of the people in Latin America and the Caribbean.