BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The International Labour Organization (ILO) is predicting that unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean will rise to 8.4 per cent this year.
The ILO has released its World Employment Social Outlook, indicating that global unemployment levels and rates are expected to remain high in the short term, as the global labour force continues to grow.
“In particular, the global unemployment rate is expected to rise modestly in 2017, to 5.8 per cent from 5.7 per cent in 2016, representing 3.4 million more unemployed people globally bringing total unemployment to just over 201 million in 2017.”
It said that the increase in unemployment levels and rates in 2017 will be driven by deteriorating labour market conditions in emerging countries as the impacts of several deep recessions in 2016 continue to affect labour markets in 2017.
“In fact, the number of unemployed people in emerging countries is expected to increase by approximately 3.6 million between 2016 and 2017 during which time the unemployment rate in emerging countries is expected to climb to 5.7 per cent, compared with 5.6 per cent in 2016”.
The ILO said that of notable concern are developments in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the unemployment rate is expected to rise by 0.3 percentage points in 2017, to reach 8.4 per cent.
The ILO report notes that in several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries the percentage of who are looking for work but unable to find jobs in 2017, will range from four to six per cent in Trinidad and Tobago to above 17 per cent in islands like St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The ILO report notes that in Caribbean countries like Guyana, Haiti, Barbados and Suriname, the percentage of people looking for work is between nine to 13 per cent, while in the Bahamas the figure is between 13-17 per cent.
The report also notes that discontent with the social situation and lack of decent job opportunities are both factors that play a role in a person’s decision to migrate.
“In fact, between 2009 and 2016, the share of the working-age population willing to migrate abroad permanently increased in every region of the world except for Southern Asia and South-Eastern Asia and the Pacific.
“The largest increases over this period took place in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Arab States. Overall, the share of people willing to move abroad remained the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, at 32 per cent, followed closely by Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern Africa, at above 30 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively,” the ILO report added.