OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Costa Rica

image of OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Costa Rica

Costa Rica has recorded many social and economic achievements and currently enjoys one of the highest levels of well-being in the OECD. But progress has come to a standstill in most recent years and challenges have emerged along several social and labour market dimensions. Existing policies are outdated and no longer effective in today’s dynamic, export oriented economy which requires greater flexibility and more high skilled workers. How can Costa Rica better respond to the challenges of technological change and globalisation whilst minimising the transition costs it endures as it moves to a higher and a more sustainable path to inclusive growth? This report provides comprehensive analysis of Costa Rica’s policies and practices compared with best practice in the field of labour, social and migration from across the OECD and other countries in the Latin American region.  It contains several recommendations to tackle key challenges facing Costa Rica, including low labour utilisation, increasing inequality, high poverty and high-risk of economic exclusion especially of the low skilled and migrants.  This report will be of interest in Costa Rica as well as other countries looking to promote a more dynamic and an inclusive economy.



Making migration an opportunity for Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a net immigration in a region with high emigration rates. Immigrants represent 11% of the population aged 15 and over and are mainly of working age and low educated. The vast majority of them are from Nicaragua, but more recent flows are also coming from other countries in the region and the United States. Migrant men have high employment rates, but migrant women have serious difficulties accessing the labour market. Informality is a serious concern for migrants and is linked to irregular migrant status for many of them. Recent policy changes aimed to regularise the situation of migrants, but such efforts are difficult to implement in the context of high informal employment. The 2010 Migration Law and the subsequent Comprehensive Migration Policy provide the right framework for migration, but implementation challenges remain.




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