Research Teams

DT 16/14 - Calidad del empleo en tiempos de crecimiento

ISSNISSN/ISBN: 1688-5090
AutorAuthor/s: Porras, Sylvina,
Uruguay has registered in the last ten years a strong dynamism of economic activity and
a steady decline in the unemployment rate. However, this does not account for the quality of the
jobs created by economic expansion. This research seeks to answer: How has the quality of
employment evolved in different contexts of economic growth? Which have been the economic
sectors with better performance? What about the quality gap in employment between men and
women? To this end, using data from the Household Survey and based on the methodology
proposed by Alkire and Foster (2011), this paper proposes the construction of a job quality index
which we call Bad Quality Jobs Index (IME for its name in Spanish). The proposed index
considers four dimensions on which information is available: income, social protection,
informal sector and hours worked. It combines information on the number of people with
problems of job quality and the ratio of deprivations suffered by these workers with respect to
the total possible deprivations in the dimensions considered. So it allows us to have in a single
index information on the incidence and the severity of job quality problems. In turn, it allows
comparisons by gender, by industries or by any other category that may be relevant to analyze
the labor market, which is a valuable complement to analyze the evolution of the labor market
and provides elements for policymaking.
We find that even with rising employment rates and increasing average productivity, the
evolution of job quality as measured by the IME was quite different in both periods of analysis
(1991-1998 and 2003-2011): while in the nineties it was virtually not altered and even slightly
deteriorated, in the 2000s it improved significantly. With regard to gender, job quality had
improved for both sexes, although the gap between men and women has narrowed. By industry,
we find that Construction, Primary Activities and Trade, Restaurants and Hotels Activities
registered the greatest improvement in the average quality of jobs.
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