The unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean is set to drop from 6.4% in 2012 to 6.2% by the end of 2013, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
But the decline in unemployment was not caused by higher economic growth. ‘Lower demand for labor’ caused actually caused a decline in economic growth in LATAM in the first half of 2013, the commission said.
“Lower dynamism in job creation did not mean higher unemployment, as the first six months of 2013 saw a reversal in the relatively strong increase in the labor participation rate from 2012. In the 10 countries with information available, this rate stopped growing in the first six months,” stated the UN agency.
For the 10 countries with information available, the average urban unemployment rate went from 6.7% in the first half of 2012 to 6.6% in the same period of 2013. There were small rises in unemployment in Argentina, Jamaica, Mexico and Uruguay, but with the exception of Jamaica, the increases were all less than half a percentage point.
One of the aspects highlighted in the report is the continued downward trend in the unemployment rate that began in 2004 – albeit in the form of very modest reductions. In terms of real wages, most countries saw a continued rise during the first half of the year, although rates were slower than the average for 2012.
The commission urged countries to continue developing skilled laborforces to deal with productivity gaps and help advance toward sustainable development.