Economy October 11, 2020 | 12:11 pm

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Some Latin American and Caribbean labor markets show slight improvement, according to the IDB

In the Dominican Republic, the demand for workers grew.


Santo Domingo, DR

Some Latin American and Caribbean countries have begun to show slight improvements in their labor markets after the pandemic’s initial strong impact on jobs and worker wages. This is the latest data available from the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Labor Observatory COVID-19, which indicates that the employed population has increased in Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Peru (Metropolitan Lima), and Uruguay.

The observatory also shows that formal employment has grown slightly in Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, coinciding with a moderate and consistent increase in labor force mobility.

Another sign of a slight recovery in labor markets shown by the COVID-19 Labor Observatory is the behavior of labor demand. After the drop and stagnation in the number of jobs advertised by companies on websites, there has been a slight increase in the number of job vacancies available at the regional level since mid-August. According to data from the Observatory, the leading cause of this increase is the greater demand for workers in countries such as Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Paraguay.

“Despite these improvements, the employed population and employment are still below the levels observed before the pandemic and the confinements,” explains Oliver Azuara, senior economist in the IDB’s Labor Markets Division.

Except in the case of the Dominican Republic, all countries have also seen a greater decrease in female labor participation compared to men.

The observatory media coverage shows that the issue of employment is becoming increasingly important in the region. In several countries -Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Uruguay- have more generous coverage than the health issue.

About the COVID-19 Labor Observatory

The IDB’s COVID-19 Labor Observatory is a tool that provides timely and relevant information on the pandemic’s impact on the labor markets of Latin America and the Caribbean. Thus, it puts in one place authoritative information (surveys) and complementary information (administrative records and job vacancies), along with other data on the relative importance of unemployment in public discussion (such as electronic media and social networks).

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