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Uruguay: The Urban Poor
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Social Classes > The Urban Poor

THE URBAN POOR


The urban poor were concentrated among the unemployed, those working in the informal sector of the economy, unskilled laborers, and retired persons. Official unemployment figures for Montevideo fluctuated from around 8 percent to 15 percent in the 1980s. Estimates of the proportion of the labor force in the informal sector were, by definition, hard to find. But the proportion has certainly been rising since the 1960s. At the height of the building boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, about 6 percent of the labor force was employed in construction, a highly cyclical (and thus unstable) source of jobs. In addition, the real value of state pensions was severely eroded in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to widespread misery among the elderly.

Since 1985 the level of unemployment has remained below 10 percent in Montevideo, and the government has made modest efforts to restore some of the erosion in the real value of pensions. However, the informal sector of the economy has continued to grow.

Data as of December 1990




Last Updated: December 1990


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uruguay was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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