LIMA – Small and micro enterprises generate the largest portion of jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Labor Organization.
Those firms account for 47 percent of total employment, or roughly 127 million jobs, while large and medium-sized companies represent only 19 percent, the ILO said.
The region’s labor market includes 76 million self-employed people, or 28 percent of the workforce, while 5 percent of economically active people are in domestic work.
The predominance of small and micro enterprises causes “wide gaps in acceptable work and labor conditions, and it is at the same time a brake on productivity growth,” said the ILO director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jose Manuel Salazar.
He emphasized the need to create an environment favorable for small and micro firms to expand and join the ranks of mid-sized businesses.
Among other recommendations, the ILO calls for streamlining regulation; improving access to financing, technology and innovation; helping both workers and businesses to enter the formal economy and strategies to increase productivity.