Country Listing

Uruguay Table of Contents



The labor force in Uruguay was small (1.4 million in 1990), about 80 percent urban, and educated at least to a high school level. In 1988 about 30 percent of workers were employed in the public sector, 23 percent in industry, 15 percent in agriculture, 12 percent in trade and commerce, and 20 percent in services and other activities (see fig. 7). During the 1970s, workers experienced a sharp decline in real wages, which they only partially regained in the 1980s. The problems of the labor force, reflecting the overall difficulties of the Uruguayan economy, led to widespread strikes and unrest that hindered economic growth during the 1980s. In view of Uruguay's fundamental structural difficulties, an accommodation with the labor movement remained an important issue for the government.

Data as of December 1990