Covid and Jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean – 42.4% in sectors at high risk and 16.5% in sectors at medium-high risk

Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean is a twice-yearly report prepared jointly by the Economic Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Office for the Southern Cone of Latin America of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic hit Latin America and the Caribbean in a period of economic weakness and macroeconomic vulnerability. Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic, which brings with it a combination of external and domestic shocks, will result in the region’s worst economic and social crisis in decades, with damaging effects on employment, the fight against poverty and the reduction of inequality.

Along with labour market dynamics, this report examines some of the policies implemented by countries to protect formal and informal employment, income and the production sector. It also analyses the labour challenges related to the reactivation of production in a post-pandemic world. A policy framework prioritizing workplace health and safety is therefore of the essence.

The effect of the pandemic on labour markets in the countries of the region will depend on the production structure and the composition of employment in each sector, among other things. The worst affected sectors will include tourism (airlines, accommodation, restaurants and hotels), trade and manufacturing, real estate and administrative activities. These sectors are labour-intensive and some, like trade, have a high concentration of informal employment. Other sectors such as transport and storage, and entertainment and cultural activities will also suffer a medium-high impact. Workers in these sectors will be at significant economic risk.

In Latin America, it is estimated that 42.4% of employment is in sectors at high risk and 16.5% in sectors at medium-high risk (see figure I.1). These workers have a high chance of facing a reduction in working hours, wage cuts and layoffs. Countries where employment is concentrated in sectors such as agriculture and livestock, for example, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador and the Plurinational State of Bolivia, are likely to have a lower proportion of workers in high-risk sectors. However, if the virus were to spread to rural areas, activity in this sector could also collapse.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Work in times of pandemic: the challenges of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) | Digital Repository | Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean


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