Latin America faces sharp rise in unemployment

Santiago, Chile - Latin America and the Caribbean is currently facing the worst crisis in history due to the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been especially strong in the most vulnerable sectors, according to ECLAC data.

On Tuesday, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) will present their joint report on 'Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Labor dynamics in a crisis of unprecedented characteristics: policy challenges.'

The report addresses the labor market's dynamics in 2020 and especially the effect the pandemic has had on the employment situation of young people in the region.

ECLAC's preliminary data indicate that the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic implies a lost decade for the regional countries, since the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per inhabitant fell back compared to 2010 level.

The strong blow to the region's economies is reflected when some 2.7 million companies closed, while 44 million workers have lost their jobs.

Consequently, people living in poverty will total 231 million before the year ends. This figure is similar to the one reported in 2005. Some 96 million persons will be living in extreme poverty, which means a drop to the 1990 level.

The hardest-hit social groups will be the traditionally most disadvantaged population groups, such as women, youth, indigenous and Afro-descendant people, and migrants.

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