If Latin America wants more and better jobs, it must increase labor productivity

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The International Labor Organization (ILO) raised this Wednesday the need to formulate “effective strategies” that help increase labor productivity, in the face of what it considers “a persistent regional lag that compromises the possibilities of finding the course of a future of work with sustainable growth and more and better jobs”.

The region faces large-scale “structural challenges” because “there are wide productivity gaps within countries between productive sectors, companies, groups of workers,” said Claudia Coenjaerts, the ILO’s interim regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. , in the presentation of a new report.

To these, he added other external fissures that “have been amplifying with respect to more advanced countries in the framework of the acceleration of the digital transition and technological change.”

Coenjaerts considered that “a renewed and in-depth debate is needed in the region to address the main factors that drive increased productivity, the digital transition and the repercussions of these processes on decent work, job creation, distributional improvements and the development of sustainable companies that promote technological change”.

Productivity has decreased in the last four decades

The report highlights that “the vast majority of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, even before the health and economic crisis derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, showed a stagnation of both labor productivity and total productivity of workers. factors”.

“Labor productivity has persistently decreased in comparative terms with respect to the rest of the world during the last four decades,” said the ILO consultant and author of the report, Claudio Maggi.

Maggi highlighted the importance of identifying and promoting a series of “virtuous dynamics between productivity, growth and work.”

During the presentation of the report, other aspects were addressed, such as the challenges caused by the digital transition and the advent of new technologies, the challenges in terms of training, the current complex situation characterized by high international uncertainty and the uncertainty before the end of the pandemic. of COVID-19, and the high informality in the region.

Likewise, challenges were raised in terms of public policies, and also in the operation of companies.

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