The International Labor Organization (ILO) calculates that, if steps are not taken to create more and better jobs, there will be 158 million people in Latin America without formal employment in 2015.
At present, according to the ILO, the region has 126 million workers without formal employment. This represents 53% of the Economically Active Population (PEA). Women and youngsters are in even worse off.
This Wednesday, May 3, marks the official beginning of the 16th Regional Meeting of the ILO. The meeting will debate an American agenda to produce quality jobs.
The basic text, which was released by the director-general of the ILO, Juan Somavia, indicates that the Caribbean region also is up against this challenge and that the situation there is "particularly complex," due to the economic weakness of the countries in the region. This, according to the document, "imposes severe limitations on their capacity for economic and social development."
The American Regional Meeting, which runs through Friday, May 5, is being attended by government representatives, employers, and workers from the three Americas. This is the first time the meeting is being held in Brazil.
The "hemispheric agenda," as the ILO is calling it, includes a series of general and specific policy recommendations for Latin American countries to create "decent work" during the coming decade.
"The creation of decent work is a political goal, since it has an impact on the struggle against poverty, the governability of democracies, and hemispheric security. We cannot eliminate poverty until we offer decent jobs," Somavia remarked.