Country Listing

Panama Table of Contents



A 1985 World Bank study concluded that in spite of a relatively well-educated work force, unemployment was Panama's "gravest economic and social problem." The unemployment rate climbed steadily, from 8.1 percent in 1978 to 11.8 percent in 1985. The study predicted that the unemployment situation would further deteriorate unless the government took forceful measures to change structural rigidities in the labor code and market. Legislation approved in March 1986 addressed some of the rigidities in the 1972 labor code. Those changes may have been responsible, at least in part, for the lowering of the unemployment rate in 1986 to 10 percent.

Data as of December 1987