The Americas: Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America a decade of economic growth and the implementation of national policies focusing on employment have resulted in a reduction in unemployment and an increase in average pay and real minimum wages. Poverty has been reduced, as has unequal income distribution.

Social protection coverage increased, and unemployment fell to an historic low of just over 6 per cent in 2012. However, 15 million people remain unemployed, 90 million workers lack any form of protection and 130 million people are in informal employment. By contrast, labour market indicators worsened in Caribbean countries, and around 15 million women and men are still jobless in the subregion.

Formalization was therefore a priority, as well as promoting the creation of jobs through sustainable enterprises, ensuring full respect for fundamental principles and rights at work and strengthening labour administration, with a focus on labour inspection.

In 2013 the urban unemployment rate was at its lowest: 6.3 per cent
Women’s participation in the labour force has increased to
50 per cent for the first time in the region, although
many women still face inequality in the labour market.