The strong economic recovery of Latin America and the Caribbean will make it possible to bring down unemployment significantly from 7.3% in 2010 to between 6.7% and 7.0% in 2011, according to ECLAC and ILO.
In the latest edition of the joint publication “The Employment situation in Latin America and the Caribbean” that was released on Tuesday, the two United Nations agencies analyse labour trends in the region, as well as the countercyclical policies implemented by some countries during the recent international crisis. They recognize that, in many cases, such policies helped to reduce economic vulnerability, which in turn facilitated a faster economic upturn.
In the foreword to the document, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Elizabeth Tinoco, ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, state the following “This crisis saw greater concern for maintaining people’s employment and income levels. Many of the measures adopted represented a way for increased fiscal spending to reach people as much as possible, which reflected a concern for equality”.
These countercyclical policies involved expanding fiscal spending during the crisis and consisted in various measures such as infrastructure investment, emergency employment programs, stimulation for social programmes and companies, among others.
According to the analysis, however, the policies implemented during the crisis were often the result of short-term reactions, rather than the consequence of an institutionalized countercyclical approach.
Bárcena and Tinoco said that because of limited availability of fiscal resources, not all countries were in a position to implement strong countercyclical policies, while in other cases measures were introduced more as a reaction to a particular situation than as the result of a clearly defined and established strategy.
They recommend the following: “The challenge is to institutionalize a countercyclical approach throughout the economic cycle,” adding that this would provide the capacity to respond immediately in the event of another crisis.