ECLAC recommends strategic investment to generate jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean

Report projects regional countries could create an estimated 4 million new direct jobs by universalizing public services

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Nations of Latin America and the Caribbean must make strategic investments to stimulate job creation, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s (ECLAC) recently released 2021 report.

To this end, the ECLAC “identified eight engines for a new style of development that can enhance competitiveness [and] employment, lower the environmental footprint and reduce socioeconomic and gender inequalities”.

The identified areas include sustainable tourism; renewable energy; digitization; bioeconomics; health manufacturing; the care economy; the circular economy; and sustainable mobility in cities.

The ECLAC took particular note of how investments in water, sanitation and electricity could prove beneficial for the region.

“Investment to universalize public services would generate jobs and significant social and environmental benefits,” the report outlined.

To this end, the ECLAC projected that regional countries could create an estimated 3.6 million new direct jobs in water and sanitation per year and an estimated 0.5 million jobs in electricity per year by investing 1.3 percent of GDP respectively per year until 2030.

Additionally, the region could benefit from “improved public health and environment and public-private partnerships” and reduced carbon emissions by committing to such investments, the organization noted.

However, it also cautioned that “achieving economic growth that generates quality jobs will require a comprehensive approach to productive, labour and care policies, especially for women and youth”.

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    “Expand programs that promote formal employment, especially for women and youth — subsidy for hiring; training programs, with an emphasis on those that promote digital inclusion; financing programs for women and youth entrepreneurship; [and] improvements in the coordination mechanisms between the supply and demand of labour,” the report urged the region’s policymakers.

    “Promote sectoral policies for the reactivation of productive activities seriously affected by the crisis, such as the service sector — commerce and tourism [and] sectors where more than 80 percent of female employment is concentrated. [This is] especially relevant in economies that depend on tourism and services — the Caribbean.

    “Expand and deepen support programs for MSMEs — extend payroll support programs to new hires; [implement] financing and debt restructuring policies to boost investment.

    “Bolster the care economy, based on the principle of co-responsibility between men and women, and between the state, the market and families. Adapt regulations for care licenses. Maintain transfers in cash and goods for the households most affected by the health crisis.”

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    Links:
    United Nations ECLAC “Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2021” — https://www.cepal.org/sites/default/files/presentation/files/210831_1035_ee2021_english.pdf

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