Wednesday class – labor in Peru

Today’s class lecture focused on labor in Peru. The numbers provided for Peru are probably pretty skewed due to the large informal labor force – those that work outside of the formal labor structure. The formal labor unemployment rate for Peru is 7.9%, with widespread underemployment. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin is 7.3% and 8.5% for the United States.

Even though the unemployment rate is fairly comparable to Wisconsin, the Peruvian minimum wage for the formal labor sector is a mere $250/month!

As I was looking at headline news this morning, I saw an article on CNN which deals a bit with labor, particularly the informal laborers who live and work in the shanty towns outside of Lima. It’s a very interesting article and video and you can check it out here.

Our field trip this afternoon was to the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM). Gabriel Aguirre, an economic analyst, gave an hour long overview of what this agency does, along with information about the major importers of and exporters to Peru. The top three countries that import from Peru are, in order of imported value, are China, Switzerland and the United States.

What I found to be most interesting are these facts about Peru:
> 1st world producer of fish meal
> 1st world producer of paprika
> 1st world producer of silver
> 2nd world producer of asparagus
> 2nd world producer of artichokes
> 2nd world producer of copper and zinc

The list goes on and on. Who knew? Peru is one of the main reasons we can have asparagus in the fall and winter in Wisconsin because it’s spring and summer in Peru.

Here is our group at the AMCHAM.

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And for all of our female followers, a close up of Gabriel, our AMCHAM host. Enjoy.

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