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Labor by the numbers

Low and declining total productivity in Latin America vs. the United States

0.76 is the value of total factor productivity (TFP) in Latin America relative to the average total productivity in the United States. This means that, if Latin America used the amounts of capital and labor that is used in the United States, production in Latin America would be roughly three-fourths of U.S. production. Moreover, the TFP relative to the U.S. has been declining sharply since the beginning of the 1980s, when Latin American and U.S. productivity were nearly equivalent.

Source: Pagés (2010).

Lagging labor productivity growth in Latin America

1.5% is the average annual growth of labor productivity in Latin America from 1990 to 2005. This is in contrast to the productivity growth experienced by high-income economies and East Asia of 2.4% and 4%, respectively.

Source: Pagés (2010).

More than half of workers in LAC are in low-productivity jobs

54.8% of workers in LAC are salaried workers in small firms, non-professional self employed, or zero-income workers, that is, more than half of workers are employed in low-productivity jobs.

Source: SEDLAC (2011).

High youth to adult unemployment ratio

3.1 times higher is the unemployment rate among youths aged 15-24 when compared to the adult (aged 25-65) unemployment rate in Latin American and the Caribbean. The average youth unemployment rate in the region is 14.6% and is above 20% in 5 of 17 countries with available data.

Source: LMK calculations (2010).

The region suffers from very low social-security coverage

43.2% of salaried workers aged 15-65 are not covered by pensions systems in Latin America. Coverage is much lower for workers with fewer than 9 years of education, young workers, and older workers and is extremely low among self-employed workers.

Source: LMK calculations (2010).



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