26 million fewer jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean due to COVID-19

The International Labor Organization for the Americas called to regenerate the jobs lost due to the economic crisis. | Photo: Doral News, Colombia

Paris, April 12 (RHC)-- A loss of 26 million jobs has been registered for the Latin American and Caribbean region as a consequence of the economic impact generated by COVID-19.  According to a report from the International Labor Organization, the ILO, as many of 25 million 500 thousand jobs have been lost over the past year.

By the end of 2020, says the official report by the ILO, the average employment rate in the region had fallen from 57.4 to 51.7 percent, a sharp drop that is equivalent to the loss of about 26 million jobs, of which 80 percent -- or more than 20 million people -- left the workforce.

In addition, the ILO points out that the current year began with a labor outlook aggravated by new waves of contagions and slow vaccination processes that make the prospects for recovery in the labor markets even more uncertain.

"The search for a better normality is going to require ambitious actions to recover from the setbacks in the employment world," warned Vinícius Pinheiro, ILO Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

"Now it is time to regenerate the jobs lost due to the pandemic and create new opportunities for decent work," Pinheiro said, noting that despite the adversities, measures must be taken and consensus must be reached.  The director of the regional entity added that "2021 should be the year of vaccination and economic recovery with the generation of more and better jobs."

On the other hand, the senior executive stated that "in the search for recovery, it will be unavoidable to address the pre-existing conditions in the region, which are key to understanding why the impact of the pandemic on employment was so strong. Many of the challenges we had before the pandemic remain, although they are more urgent now.

Referring to the context that preceded the problem triggered by Covid-19, the executive pointed out as causes the high level of informality, the reduced fiscal spaces, persistent inequality, low productivity and scarce coverage of social protection, in addition to persistent challenges such as child and forced labor, which he considered "pending issues in the region".


Edited by Ed Newman


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