2007 Labour Overview. Latin America and the Caribbean.

Latin America and the Caribbean are entering 2008 with a favourable labour market situation. This reflects continued healthy economic growth, although greater progress toward decent work is still needed. Current projections indicate that the unemployment rate will continue declining moderately, but it will be necessary to pay close attention to the changes in the global economy. (Jean Maninat, Regional Director)

In summary, as the 2007 Labour Overview which I am pleased to present demonstrates, Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in improving some key labour market indicators, especially in reducing unemployment, but significant gaps persist that affect the most vulnerable populations, the rate of informality remains high and not all workers have social protection. Progress must be made in every aspect, from recognizing labour rights to ensuring their effective application. These challenges underscore the need to support concrete policies and actions for the promotion of decent work through social dialogue. The ILO’s 2006-2015 Regional Agenda for Decent Work in the Americas, which received tripartite approval in 2006, offers hope regarding the commitment of governments, workers and employers to reducing the decent work deficit in the region. In this process, the ILO will continue to work closely with Latin American and Caribbean countries to develop decent work country programmes in order to reduce poverty and inequality and make advances toward the well-being of all citizens.