Panama Must Import Labor

There isn´t adequate availability of skilled labor to build, manage and administrate the ambitious projects of the state's infrastructure plan.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The construction of the first Metro line involves 3,000 jobs, the redevelopment of the Canal another 6,000 and other infrastructure projects raise the total to 34,000 direct jobs which will be created by 2011.

According to Minerva Betancourt's article in, "According to analysts and experts in labor market, the number of people trained is not growing on par with the projects, and it is likely that by 2013 the demand will exceed the offer. The director of Insight Economy, Jovany Morales, estimated that starting next year there will be a "bottleneck" and that 2014 will be a critical year. "

The problem is that the labor which is needed needs to be qualified. The Panamanian government is beginning to show signs of willingness to import from abroad.

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Growing Labor Shortage in Panama

December 2014

Projections are that for the five year period between 2015-2020 there will be a shortfall of 70,000 workers in the sectors of construction, logistics, tourism and agriculture.

According to the National Competitiveness Center, in the specified period there will be a shortage of workers especially in the logistics sector, where they will need at least 35,000 technicians, ie 49.5%, while in the construction area demand will be for around 28,000 people, representing 40.3%. In the case of the tourism sector it is estimated that it will require approximately 4,113 technicians, ie 5.7% and in agriculture about 3,203, the remaining 4.5%.

The Lure of Cheap Labor

June 2013

Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador attract investment based on the exploitation of natural resources and unskilled, but cheap, labor.  

A report by the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (ICEF), reveals that Central America recorded last year $9.70 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), with Panama and Costa Rica being the recipients of about 60% of these flows.

Panama Keeps Generating Jobs

December 2011

The Net Employment Outlook for the first three months of 2012 is +24%, putting more pressure on a market with a serious shortage of qualified human resources.

While efforts are being made to the train people locally, foreigners continue to come into the country to meet the demand of international companies based there.

Labor Shortages in ICT Sector in Panama

April 2014

The speed with which the Panamanian economy is developing is demanding skilled labour which, at the moment, the country is unable to supply.

The lack of qualified people in the areas of technology, software development and telecommunications is one of the challenges facing Panama as a consequence of its economic growth.

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