MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Thurs. Jan. 20, 2022– In last Friday’s issue, we reported that the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) shared its annual report on the growth of the region’s economy and indicated that the outlook for Belize is positive—with an expected growth rate of 6.2%. The report also stated that the year 2022 will be rife with challenges for the region. In the presentation of the report, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena went over the major issues that the region faced in 2021 and issues that need to be tackled in the coming year, such as increased unemployment rates, inequality, and low investment.
According to ECLAC, in the year 2021 there was increased inequality in the rates of job loss among men and women, and it noted that over 38% of jobs held by women that were lost during the COVID-19 crisis were not recovered, while 21% of jobs held by men were not recovered. The main reason for this, said Secretary Bárcena, was “overload of care provision on women.”
Bárcena also spoke on the rise in unemployment seen in 2021, which affected mostly women, especially those with children under the age of 5.
Overall, ECLAC expects that 2022 will be a complex year, due to uncertainty regarding the pandemic’s ongoing evolution, a sharp deceleration in economic growth, continued low investment and productivity, a slow recovery in employment, the persistence of the social effects prompted by the pandemic, inflation, and financial imbalances.
“The expected slowdown in the region in 2022, combined with the problems of low investment and productivity, poverty and inequality, calls for growth and employment creation to be central elements of public policymaking,” stated Bárcena.