Current labor conditions in the hemisphere present challenges
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Current Labor Conditions in the Hemisphere: Present Challenges . XIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor Salvador de Bahía, Sept. 2003 Jürgen Weller, ECLAC. Issues. General tendencies on the labor markets in LAC Specific challenges Areas of policy intervention .

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Current Labor Conditions in the Hemisphere: Present Challenges

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Current labor conditions in the hemisphere present challenges

Current Labor Conditions in the Hemisphere: Present Challenges

XIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor

Salvador de Bahía, Sept. 2003

Jürgen Weller, ECLAC


Issues

Issues

  • General tendencies on the labor markets in LAC

  • Specific challenges

  • Areas of policy intervention


Latin america and the caribbean labour market participation and employment

Latin America and the Caribbean: Labour market participation and employment


Evolution of the structure of urban employment

Evolution of the structure of urban employment


Specific challenges on the labor markets 1

Specific challenges on the labor markets - 1

Important challenges “at both extremes”:

  • Compete with quality and productivity: growing demand for highly qualified staff

  • Weak demand for workers with low formal education (especially women): sector and technological changes


Specific challenges on the labor markets 2

Specific challenges on the labor markets - 2

Higher instability, less protection

  • Macroeconomic volatility

  • The challenges of open markets

  • Less stable contractual relationsships


Current labor conditions in the hemisphere present challenges

Specific challenges on the labor markets - 3

Productive integration of youth

  • Starting-point seems favorable (demographics, education)

  • But results cannot satisfy (youth unemployment, informality)

  • Impact of economic crisis

  • Multiple negative consequences


Agents and relations on the labor market

Agents and relations on the labor market


Some origins of labor market problems

Some origins of labor market problems

  • General conditions: Adverse macroeconomic or political environment => low growth, low labor demand 

  • Enterprises: Low productive development, low competitiveness => low productivity, low wages

  • Workers: Low level of education and ability => low productivity, low wages

  • Labor market instituciones: Disequilibrium between objectives of efficiency and equity => rigidities, employment of low quality, mistrust


Policy challenges employment policy on the macro level

Policy challenges: Employment policy on the macro level

  • Macroeconomic policy for long-term growth and smoothening of volatility

  • Relative prices favorable for productive development

    => Seek for coalition, not confrontation with the Minister of Finance!


Policy challenges employment policy on the meso level

Policy challenges: Employment policy on the meso level

  • Long-range sector policies: education, regional development, promotion of productive activities

  • Labor demand incentives in specific sectors

    => Macro conditions are fundamental, but require complements


Policy challenges labor market institutions

Policy challenges:Labor market institutions

  • Re-regulate labor institutions amidst tensions:

  • Between flexibility and stability

  • Between efficiency and protection

  • Between costs and income

  • Between internal and external (national and supranational) regulations

    => No “first best” exists – need for a negotiated, country specific search!


Policy challenges labor market policies

Policy challenges:Labor market policies

  • Improve productivity: continuous training

  • Improve employability, no discrimination

  • Improve integration of youth into the labor market

  • Promotion of microenterprises

  • Unemployment insurance


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