2001 Labour Overview

2001 Labour Overview appears at a difficult time in the world economic situation, aggravated by the events of last 11 September. As short-term indicators have shown, these have had marked repercussions on the economy and employment of most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

First of all, it can be seen that the labour situation has not improved. During the present year, the average unemployment rate in the region remained at a level similar to 2000. However, this is due mainly to the reduction of unemployment in Brazil, while unemployment increased in most other countries in the region.

Brazil’s reduced unemployment and the unemployment level maintained in a few other countries was due to a fall in the participation rate. This means that, when considering the greater number of unemployed in some countries and the number of discouraged people who have withdrawn from the labour market in others, total unemployment exceeds last year’s levels. Consequently, this has not been a good year for employment.

Both the increased open unemployment in some countries and the reduced participation rate in others, are related to the reduction in economic growth, that fell from 4.1% in 2000 to an estimated 0.9% this year. This is a drastic reduction that can only adversely impact the labour market.