Job Security: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

An increase in informal employment and underemployment indicates a need to adapt the rules governing hiring people to the new forms of production.

Monday, July 16, 2012


An article in reports that "More Costa Ricans are now working in the informal sector or are underemployed, visibly and invisibly. The National Household Survey 2011 by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) reveals this fact. The country’s historic leadership in decent employment at the regional level is now only to be referred to in quotation marks ""... The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MTSS) estimates that this is the new reality for 30% of the labor force ... who find themselves in poor quality jobs."

Those consulted by the writer, employers and authorities from the relevant area - focus their recommendations and their proposed solutions on the traditional: more training, administered by the State, better employment agencies, administered by the State, and of course the well declared truism, a more dynamic economy.

Almost at the end of the article there is a discussion of what can actually change the current landscape of informal employment: the adaptation of the rules governing the hiring for new production methods that require human resource mobility, and reduced costs associated with job security.
Job security is a good thing, but maybe it is still not a feasible goal in the modern, globalized economy.

The only real solution to this problem lies in promoting the extremely personalized drive of the worker to continually grow in terms of the knowledge and skills necessary to remain attractive in the market for human resources. And that momentum should be kick started by education starting in primary school. And that form of education IS the responsibility of the state.

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Costa Rica: More Informal Employment

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In the last year the number of people with jobs outside the formal market grew by nearly 3%, showing the deterioration of the competitiveness of the Costa Rican economy.

From a statement by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Business Sector (UCCAEP):

There is No Longer a Standard Employment Model

May 2015

In advanced economies employment is becoming less stable while those in developing economies are focusing on public policies, which stimulates the growth of informality and, paradoxically, unemployment.


"It's the economy, stupid."
We will use the now famous phrase coined during Bill Clinton campaign against George Bush, to highlight the paternalistic voluntarism which is fashionable in most of the countries of the region, the only effect it has is to marginalize the formal production economy for more and more people, with an impoverishing final effect. Globalization requires more and more competition, which can only be achieved with maximum flexibility using all resources, including human ones. This, which in itself is inhumane, is a reality that should not be overlooked in the definition and implementation of public employment policies, if they are to be successful and sustainable.

Business Confidence in Costa Rica Still Falling

September 2014

The results of the Quarterly Business Survey highlighted that 78% of companies are ruling out making new hires this year.

From a statement from the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Business Sector (UCCAEP):

78% of companies rule out new hires this year

Increase in Employment Contracts in Panama

November 2012

In the first seven months of the year, 235, 529 employment contracts were made, 17, 406 more than in the same period in 2011.

A press release from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama reads:

The Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development, recorded between January and July 2012, about 235,529 employment contracts, contracts 17,406 more than in the first seven months of 2011, as announced by the department of economic research at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in a report.