BUENOS AIRES – At a tripartite meeting on the application in Argentina of the recommendations of the Global Jobs Pact, the ILO reported today that the urban unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean is back to its pre-crisis level of 7.3 per cent.
Elizabeth Tinoco, ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, stressed that while the decline in the unemployment rate was good news, “there are many challenges ahead” on the way to achieving the goal of creating more and better jobs, “which is at the heart of the Global Pact”.
Tinoco and a group of ILO directors and specialists participated in a tripartite meeting convened by the Organization this Wednesday on “The Global Jobs Pact in Argentina”.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security of Argentina, Carlos Tomada, and representatives of Argentine employers’ and workers’ organizations.
The Global Jobs Pact was adopted by representatives of governments, employers and workers in the ILO in June 2009 in the midst of the international financial crisis, but Tinoco explained in Buenos Aires that “its validity goes beyond the crisis” and that it can serve as a framework for “a new model of social development and economic growth”.
The regional urban unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent in 2010 is similar to that of 2008, before the effects of the crisis began to be felt. In 2009, at the height of the crisis, the increase was held down to 8.1 per cent. According to figures presented in Buenos Aires, in 2011 the rate is expected to remain at 7.3 or 7.2 per cent, despite continued growth of over 4 per cent in the region.
Tinoco emphasized the need for policies to generate job-rich growth, which would at the same time enable other issues to be addressed, such as those relating to the quality of jobs, the alarming rate of informality in the region, low social protection coverage, and insufficient increases in real wages.
She highlighted the challenge of youth employment, stressing that it was a priority for the ILO. The youth urban unemployment rate is currently 13 per cent, some 2.5 times the adult rate. Moreover, 20 per cent of the region’s 106 million young people are neither studying nor working.
“The problems faced by young people are structural, and it is therefore important to tackle them through specific measures,” she pointed out.
The Global Jobs Pact contains a set of strategic recommendations to promote decent work, protect people, create an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises and promote social dialogue.
“The aim is to make employment a core objective of macroecomic policies,” said the ILO Regional Director. She added that “economic growth without jobs is not sustainable”.
The Pact was designed to enable each country to apply its recommendations according to its own needs. The meeting in Buenos Aires analysed the measures taken by Argentina in response to the crisis, the lessons learned and the ways forward.
For more information on the Global Jobs Pact, see /jobspact/lang--en/index.htm.
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