The crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic had severe repercussions on the region’s economy and labour markets in 2020. The year ended with a 7.1% decline in GDP, which translated into a sharp drop in employment and an increase in the unemployment rate, to 10.5%. Unlike in previous crises, withdrawal from the labour market was high, primarily in the second quarter of 2020, and the contraction in informal employment was greater than that of formal employment. With the gradual easing of lockdown measures, labour force participation has picked up and employment is recovering slowly, although the unemployment rate and levels of precariousness will remain high in 2021.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for the inclusive use of new technologies to generate jobs. The second part of this report analyses the main characteristics of work on digital platforms, the impact of the pandemic on this type of work and some considerations for the design of appropriate regulatory frameworks.