Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Unemployment in Latin America

The International Labour Organization estimates that unemployment across Latin America fell from 8.1% to 7.8% from 2017 to 2018. Given the error involved in making these estimations, that does not really constitute a change at all. Further, regional rates are tough to draw conclusions from. They see some general trends, like high youth unemployment (19.6%) which is indeed a problem. But the real meat is the data on individual countries. The report has tons of that. Below is one of the better snapshots.

You will likely notice almost immediately that Venezuela is missing. From a regional standpoint this is actually preferably because Venezuela always skews things given what an outlier it is. The Venezuelan government stopped reporting unemployment over two years ago, just as it did with inflation, because it just makes the government look so bad.

Another problem is Guatemala, which is at 2.8%, not to mention Mexico at 3.3%. To be fair, the report does discuss the informal economy in some detail (it hovers around 50%), but unfortunately what the media picks up is the supposed drop in unemployment, which is misleading.

What we can conclude is that the region is mostly the same as last year, Brazil is worse off than most, and Venezuela is a total disaster. Further, governments have barely made a dent in the informal economy. In other words, there are jobs but they don't pay well and they don't allow enough for basic living, much less saving.


Ravin 2:08 AM  

agree with your post, and still unemployment going very deep if gov does not do anything about this serious concern. Thanks for sharing the post.

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