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LatAm, Caribbean unemployment rate expected to fall in 2013

KINGSTON, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The average urban unemployment rate for Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to decline slightly this year, according to an official report released on Wednesday.

Co-organized and released by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the International Labor Organization, the biannual report predicted the urban unemployment rate in the region might drop slightly from 6.4 percent in 2012 to 6.3 or 6.2 percent in 2013.

The report said available information on the average urban unemployment rate of ten countries in the region decreased by 0.1 percent to 6.6 percent in the first half of 2013, while the rates of Argentina, Jamaica, Mexico and Uruguay increased slightly from January to June.

Such a decrease, though slight, could see the region's unemployment rate reach an unprecedented low, despite a weak domestic economy and the uncertain recovery of global finance, the report said.

Although it was not plain sailing for Latin America and the Caribbean, the regional economy grew about 2.5 percent in the first six months.

However, the report said the slowdown of global economy, which has slackened the region's exports, increased financial market volatility and intensified the uncertainty of future capital flows in the region.

The sluggish regional economic growth actually resulted in lower demand for labor and slow job creation, especially employment in the formal sector, the report said.

In addition, gender gaps in the workforce continued to narrow in the first six months, it said.

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