- Labor market indicators for the second half of 2022 show the highest employment levels in the region since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
- In September 2022, 8 million extra jobs were registered above the region’s pre-pandemic level.
Latin America and the Caribbean registered a total recovery of jobs in the second half of 2022, reaching levels greater than those observed before the pandemic. By September 2022, economies in the region had gained 8 million extra jobs compared to those available in March 2020 when the pandemic hit. This is one of the main conclusions of IDB’s Labor Market Observatory in its latest report analyzing the labor markets of 15 countries in our region. The study shows an uneven recovery among the different countries and sectors of the economy and highlights the growth of formal employment throughout the year.
Despite the good news, the report emphasizes that net employment growth in the last 30 months is still slow and that even as 2021’s economic recovery led employment to its peak in November of that year, it slumped again in the first months of 2022. “The increase we saw in the third trimester of 2022 means that we barely had an annual growth rate of 2% in almost 30 months. It's a sign of continuing weakness," warned Oliver Azuara, senior specialist at the IDB.
Even when the impact of the sanitary crisis was harder for disadvantaged groups in the region, mainly affecting younger and informal workers, those with lower education levels, and specially women, the total job recovery observed in the second half of 2022 is explained by the growth of women’s employment. For the first time in the pandemic, women’s employment recovery marginally exceeded men’s employment recovery. This, according to Laura Ripani, head of the Labor Markets Division at the Inter-American Development Bank, means that only the percentage of the gender gap deepened and worsened by the pandemic was closed and that the absolute gender gap persists.
Additionally, the study points to a growth in formal employment in the second half of the year that surpasses the growth of informal employment, showing a rise in quality employment, though not at the rate and velocity the region requires.
Download the last report of IDB’s Labor Market Observatory (only available in Spanish).
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