Remote Working on the Rise in Latin America: ECLAC

With the regional economy projected to grow by just 1.3% this year, formal job creation will be scant, according to a study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Latin Americans are seeing an increasing number of remote-working opportunities, but formal jobs are not growing at the same pace, according to a joint study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

With the region’s economy projected to grow by just 1.3% this year, formal job creation will be scant during the year, and in countries with high inflation – such as Argentina, Nicaragua and Venezuela – the employment situation is likely to worsen, the study predicts.

Last year, more women were able to land jobs in the region, but most of the jobs were of poor quality, it says.

However, the number of people in self–employment, particularly jobs carried out remotely with the help of computers connected with high speed internet, rose by 49% in 2018. However, such jobs will not improve quality of life, because remote workers are not entitled to other employment benefits such as healthcare and pension, according to the study.

“This composition of net job creation indicates that the largest part corresponds to low-quality work, which would verify a further deterioration in the average quality of work in the region,” the report added.

There are many factors undermining the regional labor market, with aging population, migratory trends, and an increasing rate of digitalization among the major ones.

“Digital platforms create new job opportunities both at a local level as well as in global digital markets. However, in many cases such new forms of work are developed outside of existing regulations, so these workers do not enjoy the labor and social rights established by the corresponding legislation,” warned Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s executive secretary.

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