ECLAC-ILO Bulletin No.12
From the document:
The labour market situation in Latin America and the Caribbean was shaped by a combination of two factors in 2014. The first was a number of traits arising from its positive performance over the preceding 10-year period, which left the region with high rates of employment, an unemployment rate that was very low by historical standards, significant progress in formal job creation —including opportunities in the formal job market for the relatively less educated— and fairly low levels of underemployment, as well as real wages that were rising steadily, albeit only moderately.
In one way or another, all these traits fed into the steep fall in poverty rates and the reduction of inequality among households in that period. The second factor was the region’s economic situation. Growth had 1 This report describes the regional situation, which does not necessarily coincide with that of each individual country. generally been slackening since 2011 and posted a meagre rate of 1.2% in 2014, which represented a standstill in per capita GDP and inevitably impacted on the labour market.
The first factor (the cumulative gains of the preceding period) prevented the second factor (the year’s unfavourable economic conditions) from impacting as harshly on 2014 labour performance as it might have done after a lengthy low-growth period with higher rates of unemployment and underemployment and stagnating wages.
Although the sluggish economic conditions did take some toll on labour indicators (particularly on the creation of wage and registered employment), many of them remained relatively good. Specifically, the regional unemployment rate, underemployment and real wages continued to show reasonable strength.