Latin America

Latin America’s informal labor epidemic

Even before the pandemic, Latin American economies had massive informal economies. Simple economic recovery will not fix the problem

Latin America's informal labor epidemic
Fruit vendor in Quito, Ecuador. Photo: Teranbryan Ecu/Shuttertock

Formal employment is hard to come by in Peru, and has been for some time. Even before the arrival of the coronavirus — which has already claimed the lives of almost 65,000 Peruvians — some three quarters of the country’s labor force were in informal jobs. Now, after a disastrous 2020 which saw Peru register one of the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rates and an 11.2-percent fall in GDP, the situation is even more dramatic and no solution is in sight.

Being forced to enter the gig economy brings a series of uncertainties to Peruvian workers....

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