Markets News

Unemployment in Latin America to drop in 2010 -ILO

* ILO sees urban unemployment at 8.2 pct in 2010

* ILO estimates rate closed last year at 8.4 pct

LIMA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The urban unemployment rate in Latin America is expected to fall slightly this year from 2009, the International Labor Organization said on Monday, crediting governments with softening the worst of the economic crisis.

With the region’s economic growth expected to quicken to 4.1 percent this year from a 1.8 percent contraction last year, average unemployment is forecast to ease to around 8.2 percent in 2010 from an expected 8.4 percent in 2009, the ILO report on Latin American and the Caribbean said.

Many of the region’s countries, especially in South America, depend heavily on commodity exports, whose prices plummeted on the economic downturn.

Last year ended six years of regional job growth.

“We want to stress the positive impact of policies many governments put in place, which in many cases helped to contain the impact of the crisis on employment,” the report said.

The organization recommended the continued use of stimulus measures to consolidate gains.

Urban unemployment in Latin America between January and September last year rose to 8.5 percent, the ILO said, from 7.7 percent in the same period in 2008. (Reporting by Patricia Velez and Dana Ford; Editing by James Dalgleish)