The number of unemployed in Latin America and the Caribbean will rise to 28.8 million people in 2022, which represents a decrease of 1.3 million unemployed in 2021, but 4.5 million more than in 2019, according to a report prepared by the International Labor Organization (ILO).
If the projections of the organism are fulfilled, Latin America and the Caribbean would provide 13.9% of the registered unemployed worldwide, which would amount to 207 million people.
In 2020, the Americas subregion recorded a net job loss of approximately 25 million people, of which nearly 82% resulted in departures from the labor force. While the crisis affected all economic sectors, virus containment measures and mobility restrictions protected labor relocation in informal employment, which in previous crises had been a “key” mechanism for labor adjustment in the region.
The closure and disappearance of millions of micro, small and medium enterprises suggests that the labor recovery will be delayed in line with the slow progress of the economic recovery, which is likely to deteriorate the quality of employment. In fact, although macroeconomic growth indicators performed well in 2021, employment growth remains limited and has been largely linked to informal work.
The report maintains that at the end of 2021 the recovery of employment in Latin America and the Caribbean remained incomplete, with the levels of formality and informality below pre-pandemic records in most countries.
The ILO estimates that the total number of employees in 2022 will be around 460 million people, twelve million more than in 2021 and three million less than in 2019, the year before the outbreak of the pandemic.
With these data, Ihe labor force in the subregion will reach 310 million people by 2022, three million more than in 2019.
Talking about the unemployment rate, the forecast points to a rate of 9.3% in 2022, below the double digits seen in 2021 (10%) and 2020 (10.1%), but still above the 7.9% recorded in 2019. For 2023, the ILO forecast points to a rate of 8, 8%.
On the other hand, the number of hours worked in the region equivalent to full-time jobs would reach 374 million in 2022, compared to 359 million in 2021 and 324 million in 2020. The estimate for 2022 is two million more than that observed in 2019. By 2023, the ILO projects that the number of hours worked will stand at 380 million.