The unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean(LAC) in 2012 was the lowest in recent decades, reaching 6.4 percent, according to a joint report (released on 21 May 2013) by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The unemployment rate has fallen from 6.7% in 2011. It is expected to fall by another 0.2 percent in 2013.
This is impressive given the massive unemployment situation of Spain and some other European countries. In a role reversal, the Spanish and Portuguese are emigrating to Latin America these days in contrast to the past when Latin Americans were going for jobs in Europe. In the last Latin America-EU summit meeting President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said," The Europeans are welcome to come to Latin America for jobs".
The unemployment rate for the LAC region was 11.2 percent in 2012 and has been declining steadily. In the case of Brasil, the rate has decreased from 11.7% in 2002 to 5.5% in 2012; Argentina from 19.7 to 7.2 %; Colombia from 17.6 to 11.2%; Chile from 9.8 to 6.4%; Peru from 9.4 to 6.8%; Venezuela from 15.9 to 8.1%. In the case of Mexico, while the rate has fallen from 6.6 in 2010 to 5.9% in 2012, there has been an increase from 2.7% in 2002.
The declining trend of unemployment is part of the new virtuous cycle of the region in which economic growth is driven by domestic demand created by the income of the people who enter the job market. This trend has started since 2003 with GDP growth, lowering of inflation, revival of manufacturing, boom in global commodity demand and prices, flourishing services sector and strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals of the region. The wages, including minimum wages, are correspondingly increasing in the region.