Online Event: Youth Employment and Sustaining Latin America’s Economic Recovery


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By some estimates, the Latin American and Caribbean region has lost 26 million jobs as a result of the pandemic, with new waves of contagion and slow vaccination rates complicating the employment outlook.

With many jobs typically done by young people being in the service and hospitality industries, economic shutdowns and travel restrictions have hit jobs for youth particularly hard. The youth employment rate fell to just 33 percent in the region last year, according to data from the UN’s ECLAC.

And even before last year’s record-setting recession, youth employment presented a challenge for the region’s policymakers. Informality and inactivity rates affected nearly 110 million young people in Latin America and the Caribbean, according an ILO report. Of those, 23 million neither studied nor worked, and more than 30 million only held informal employment.

The challenge of developing effective strategies to improve youth participation in labor markets has become even more difficult as a result of the pandemic.

In partnership with the United Way and Aspen Institute, the Inter-American Dialogue is organizing an event to look into ways youth employment challenges have evolved amid the pandemic and explore youth employment issues in the context of building a more sustained economic recovery.

We plan to address these and other questions:

  • How have jobs for youth been affected by the pandemic, and what sorts of policies today would help unemployed youth populations cope and recover faster?
  • Looking in the longer term, how can skills be developed for youth to match up with jobs that will be in demand?
  • What are the downsides from automation in terms of youth employment, and how can technology be part of the solution?
  • How are Latin American cities organizing multi-stakeholder coalitions of government, business, nonprofit and youth leaders to collaborate on developing new pathways to decent work for youth? 
  • How can successful youth employment initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean be scaled up more effectively, with wider reach and impact?

Join us on Wednesday, October 13, at 11:00 am ET when Maria Victoria Fazio of the Inter-American Development Bank, Gabriella Bighetti with United Way Brasil and Ana Tacite at the Instituto Coca-Cola Brasil will discuss these questions and others. A special dialogue with young people will follow the panel discussion and Q&A.

This event will be held in English, Portuguese, and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation available.

Watch the event live here:


Welcome Remarks

Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)

Luis Javier Castro

Member of the Worldwide Board of Trustees, United Way and Founder and CEO, Mesoamérica Investments 


Gabriella Bighetti

Executive Director for Brazil, United Way

Maria Victoria Fazio

Senior Labor Markets and Social Security Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank

Ana Tacite

Program Manager, Instituto Coca-Cola Brasil


Jamie McAuliffe

Founding Director of the Global Opportunity Youth Network, The Aspen Institute

Youth Panel

Bakhtawer Abbasi

Program Associate, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions

Diego Duque

Data Analyst, Global Opportunity Network

Pâmela Regina Machado de Souza

Youth Engagement Leader, Global Opportunity Youth Network

Carmen Soledad

Youth Coordinator, Global Opportunity Youth Network





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