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Monday, September 23 2019 @ 01:26 pm EDT

Not Enough People To Fill Available Jobs - 0% Unemployment, Manpower Deficit in Panama

Employment & JobsThe economic growth has favored the opening of jobs in the country, but the reality of the Panamanian labor market shows that the number of the economically active population is less than the number of jobs being generated. This, according to the human resources service providers who help other companies find and hire employees, who say there are enough people available to fill the positions being created and developed in the country. Ricardo Chaverri, the General Manager of the company Manpower, said while the unemployment rate in Panama is extremely low compared with the rest of the countries in the region - which is good for the country - for companies is not necessarily so good because means most people are already working, and in order for companies to fill their positions they are forced to "steal" employees from other companies, or to bring them in from abroad. "That brings two things. Either they start a war of higher wages and benefits, or they start to incur the additional costs of having to bring in staff from other countries," he said. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: I saw someone doing an interview on the morning news about this same subject today. They said right now there are only 60,000 people in Panama who are unemployed, and there are 90,000 jobs that need to be filled. So, not only is the Panamanian economy in a state of 100% employment (or, 0% unemployment) in fact there is a manpower deficit. Another headline in La Prensa this morning said Foreign Direct Investment fell 15.3% in the first trimester of 2012. Of course because the headline appeared in La Prensa they found a way to blame Martinelli, and implied the drop off was due to the internal politics in Panama, which is crap. It's much more likely the drop off in FDI is directly related to the manpower shortage. Companies won't make the investment in a country to build (whatever) if they can't hire people to run it.

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Not Enough People To Fill Available Jobs - 0% Unemployment, Manpower Deficit in Panama | 3 comments | Create New Account
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Not Enough People To Fill Available Jobs - 0% Unemployment, Manpower Deficit in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 25 2012 @ 01:40 pm EDT

There is little doubt that the recent immigration events being held are in response to the shortage of workers, but it will not be enough in the long run. Panama's policy of limiting businesses foreign workers to just 10% of the total has got to change eventually, but given the nature of this policy the politicians are wary of touching it, especially with the political atmosphere that exists right now. It is a shame because in the long run improving education can alleviate the shortage of skilled workers and this should be a priority, but if nothing is changed in the short run Panama's economic boom will slow down significantly.

Not Enough People To Fill Available Jobs - 0% Unemployment, Manpower Deficit in Panama
Authored by: susangg on Monday, June 25 2012 @ 01:56 pm EDT

While I am sure you are correct that there are not sufficient qualified people to fill all the available jobs, I don't agree that there is "zero unemployment in Panama." The fact is that there are large numbers of people, many of whom are uneducated, untrained, and unskilled indigenous people, who are unemployed. Some of them are unemployed by choice because they do not want steady work, preferring to work for a few days, get enough money to get drunk, and then stay away from work until they're broke again. But there are also many who would be delighted to work if there were jobs they could get to, transportation to get them there, and if they had the ability to perform those jobs. And for women, if there was child care available for them. Unfortunately, often there aren't. The jobs tend to be centered in urban areas, particularly in and near Panama City and the indigenous people are far, far away. The government is going to have to make some investments in training and education, transportation, and solving some of these logistical problems. They also have to invest more effort in transitioning many of its people from a basically stone age hunter-gatherer culture, in which the only time that matters is "now," to a culture of delayed gratification, in which "tomorrow" and "next week" and "next year" are also considered.
All this is to say its a bit more complicated than simply comparing the number of unfilled jobs to the number of people in the population.

Not Enough People To Fill Available Jobs - 0% Unemployment, Manpower Deficit in Panama
Authored by: Don Winner on Monday, June 25 2012 @ 04:08 pm EDT

@susan - No kidding. Obviously, there are unskilled, untrained, and uneducated people who are living out in the rural areas of Panama, where there are no jobs available for them, and guess what - they're unemployed. You're right, there's a disconnect between where the jobs are (mostly in the urban areas) and where the warm bodies are (sitting on there asses in a hammock somewhere, wishing they had a job, but not really doing anything about it.) You seem to be saying that it's should be the government's job to bring the employment opportunities to these people. Rather, it's the other way around. In this economy anyone who is motivated can get a job and work. They have to be willing to go to where the job is, because it's not going to be coming to them. They also have to go to school, learn a skill, and show up. But the basic facts and numbers are indisputable. The economy keeps growing, more jobs are being created, and unemployment is at zero because there are more jobs than people who are either capable or willing to fill those positions.