Fashion Week & Sustainability – Modern Diplomacy


Employment rates in some Latin American and Caribbean countries have experienced a relative recovery, although in most the rates are below pre-pandemic levels. The quality of available jobs has also declined, as has the number of paid hours per week, according to new data from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The high-frequency telephone surveys, the second phase of which was implemented this year in 24 countries in the region, provide insight into the well-being of families and their perception of the crisis. The aim is to take the pulse of the region and measure the impacts of the pandemic in key areas such as the labor market, income and food security, gender equality and household access to services. basic, such as education, health (including COVID-19). -19 vaccine), Internet connectivity and digital finance. The survey covered a representative sample of the population aged 18 and over with access to a telephone in each country.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted pre-existing inequalities in the region, where the most vulnerable and poorest groups have been disproportionately affected,” said Luis Felipe López-Calva, UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “This survey allows us to take the pulse of the region and come up with evidence-based solutions. “

“The pandemic has seriously affected millions of families in the region”, said Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “These surveys that we are presenting today are crucial for obtaining current data on the extent of the crisis and for recommending informed measures to help improve the quality of life in our countries.”

The results of the survey show that the crisis particularly affected women, both because of the stronger initial impact on them and their slower recovery in the labor market. Mothers of young children (aged 0 to 5) were the most affected. Indeed, a year and a half after the onset of the crisis, women are twice as likely as men to be unemployed due to the pandemic. This situation is exacerbated by the increased household responsibilities of women, including the supervision of children in distance education, and a higher incidence of mental health problems.

For the region as a whole, the employment rate stood at around 62%, almost 11 percentage points below the pre-pandemic level. Employment rates only exceeded pre-crisis levels in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

In addition, formal employment fell 5.3 percent in the region while self-employment increased 5.7 percent, and the proportion of workers employed in small businesses (maximum of four workers) increased. by 8 percent. These figures indicate a deterioration in the quality of available jobs. Even among the working population, the results of the regional survey identified a decrease in the weekly hours of paid work, from 43 to 37, confirming this negative trend.

Survey data found that 28 percent of those employed before the pandemic lost their jobs, and more than half (17 percent) of those who had jobs before the pandemic left the workforce. These impacts disproportionately affected women with young children: 40 percent of women workers over 18 with children aged 0 to 5 lost their jobs before the pandemic, compared to 39 percent of women in general and 18 percent of men.

The pandemic has had a greater impact on less educated workers (men and women). Thirty-five percent of people with primary education or less lost their jobs during the pandemic, as did 28% of employees with secondary education. About 19 percent of people with a higher education qualification were found unemployed.

Survey data revealed that due to labor market setbacks, just over half of the region’s households have yet to regain their pre-pandemic income levels. This situation arose despite government efforts to help families through direct transfer programs and other benefits. About 38 percent of survey respondents had received emergency cash transfers.

The survey showed that food insecurity still affects 23.9 percent of households in Latin America and the Caribbean. This figure is almost double that reported by households before the pandemic – 12.8%. However, most countries have improved in this area compared to the levels observed in June 2020.

The results also showed that more than a year after the onset of the crisis, 86% of school-aged children and young people receive some type of education (face-to-face or at a distance). However, the figures vary considerably from country to country: in Guyana and Guatemala it is 64%, while in Peru and Chile it is 95% and 97% respectively. In addition, education coverage is lower than pre-pandemic levels in the countries studied. A little less than a quarter of the region’s students have taken face-to-face lessons.

Access to health services has improved considerably. However, the percentage of unvaccinated people remains high in some countries. Eight percent of the regional population has not been vaccinated or is unwilling to receive a vaccine. This percentage is particularly high in the Caribbean: 60 percent in Haiti, 49 percent in Jamaica and 43 percent in Saint Lucia and Dominica.

Finally, according to the results of the survey, the use of mobile banking services and online transactions (e-commerce) increased sharply during the pandemic. The use of digital payments has also increased – currently, 26% of respondents said they use mobile wallets. The largest increases were observed among the rural population, the population over 55 and those with little education (primary or less).


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