Economic and Social Progress Report (IPES)

IDB Flagship Publication

IPES 2004: Good Jobs Wanted: Labor Markets in Latin America

CODE: B-2004
EDITOR(s): Pagés-Serra, Carmen
PUBLISHED: October 2003
DOWNLOAD FILE IN: English Spanish


People and their jobs: What could be more basic to a person’s well being? Where people work determines how they live, how their families live, and how economies perform. The quantity and quality of jobs available has implications for individuals and countries alike.That is why the problems with Latin America’s labor markets are so worrisome. Unemployment, under employment, job instability and low wages are not just personal problems, they are national problems as well—and much of the region is suffering from them. Unemployment is at its highest in years; much of the labor force earns poverty-level wages; wage inequality is one of the highest in the world and is not getting any better; and while the probability of losing a job is high, only a dwindling minority of workers is insured against this risk. Not surprisingly, in public opinion surveys, Latin Americans identify unemployment, low wages and job instability as the most pressing problems in the region, ahead of corruption, crime and other troubling social ills.

Previous editions of Development in the Americas (DIA):

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