Urban unemployment levels will hold at around 9.3 percent in Latin America this year, but weak economic growth forecast for 2019 suggests poor-quality jobs and informal employment will increase in the region, a new study said this week.
The report, produced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), said anticipated weak growth rates – GDP is expected to average 1.3 percent across the region – would hit particularly hard in Argentina, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The UN agencies said they fear that "labour informality will continue to rise, both due to a weakness in the generation of salaried employment posts and the informalisation of existing jobs in some countries."
The report said "it is to be assumed that the labour situation will deteriorate, especially in countries that in 2019 are going through an economic crisis, such as Argentina, Nicaragua and Venezuela."
According to the report, urban and national unemployment rates would be similar to those registered in 2018, around 9.3 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
With the exception of countries facing severe problems with inflation (such as Venezuela and Argentina), wages would remain relatively stable, with perhaps modest increases seen, the report said.