Latin American Economic Outlook 2017

Youth, Skills and Entrepreneurship

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The 2017 edition of the Latin American Economic Outlook explores youth, skills and entrepreneurship. Young Latin Americans embody the region’s promise and perils. They stand at the crossroads of a region whose once promising economy and social progress are now undergoing a slowdown. The Outlook identifies potential strategies and policy responses to help Latin America and the Caribbean revive economic growth. While development can stem from different sources, skills and entrepreneurship can empower youth to develop knowledge-intensive economic activities, boost productivity and transform the region’s politics as they transition successfully from the world of school to the world of productive work and create that future they seek. The report highlights valuable experiences and best practices in these fields and proposes strategies to allow Latin America to consolidate long-term growth while assuring continuity in the social agenda.

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OECD Development Centre

Uruguay’s economic growth over the past decade was inclusive and led to a significant reduction in poverty and the expansion of shared prosperity. As a percentage of the total population (68% in 2014), Uruguay has now the largest middle class in the region. This positive period of strong growth was also reflected in the labour market. Unemployment almost halved since 2004, according to Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean (SEDLAC) data, reaching 3.7% in 2014, in line with the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) average and well below the OECD average. The already low level of informality – defined as all employed persons not paying social contributions – dropped to 9% among adults in 2014, the lowest level in the region and far away from the LAC average (38%).

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