2016 Labour Overview of Latin America and the Caribbean

The labour scenario in Latin America and the Caribbean worsened in 2016. The economic deceleration experienced in the region since 2011 became a contraction of the economy as of 2016, with a significant impact this year on labour markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. For the second year in a row, the average unemployment rate increased, from 6.6% in 2015 to 8.1% in 2016. This level of unemployment had not been seen since the beginning of the last decade and means that there are roughly 25 million unemployed people in the region (approximately 5 million more than in 2015).

The quality of employment has also deteriorated: real wages have decreased, although real minimum wages have increased in some countries; informality has increased and formality of employment has decreased. The proportion of employees in the total work force has shrunk, and own-account work has risen.

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