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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
“Formalizing informal employment”
6/20/2013
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Some 100 million people in the region work without any sort of social protection.

While the economic growth experienced in the region in the past years has allowed unemployment to remain low, reaching an historic minimum of 6.4 percent in 2012 —and could reach 6.2 percent in 2013 —, almost half of the population that works in the non-agricultural sector is informally employed, ensures a new study prepared by the International Labor Organization (ILO), Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

At the presentation of the document “The ILO in Latin America and the Caribbean. Advances and perspectives 2013,” on June 11, Elizabeth Tinoco, Regional Director of the ILO, ensured that “we are talking about some 100 million [people who are] in a situation of informality that barely permits sustenance without any type of social protection.”

“In the region there is a clear correlation between informality and inequality,” added Tinoco. “When a large part of the working population is found in the informal economy, with low incomes and few possibilities to save, poverty cycles are perpetuated.”

According to the report “The employment situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Advances and challenges in measuring decent work”, published in May by the ILO and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), “awareness exists in the region that economic growth is essential, but not in itself sufficient to generate more and better jobs”.

Although economic growth in the region has allowed labor indicators to show a positive evolution, such as reduction of unemployment, increase in salaries and employment with social security benefits, “this relative bonanza reflected in statistical averages should not hide the fact that many households, men and women, across the whole region, are in a critical or very vulnerable situation: there are fifteen million people unemployed; almost 48 percent of those employed in the non-agricultural sector have informal jobs, barely subsist and have no social protection. Too many young people are excluded from the labor market and cannot find adequate employment or an education system that gives them tools for the future,” maintains the ILO.

Tinoco highlighted that “the formalization of informal employment will be the fundamental strategic objective of the ILO in Latin America and the Caribbean in the upcoming years, as a way to contribute to the struggle against inequality.” 
—Latinamerica Press.

LATIN AMERICA/THE CARIBBEAN
Urban Informal Employment 2011

Selected
Countries


Percentage of people with informal employment
 
Honduras
70.7
Peru
68.8
Paraguay
65.8
El Salvador
65.7
Colombia
56.8
Mexico
54.2
Ecuador
52.2
Dominican Republic
50.0
Argentina
46.9
Panama
39.3
Brazil
38.4
Uruguay
35.5
Costa Rica
33.6

Source: ECLAC/ILO


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