The economic crisis eliminated 2.2 million jobs last year in Latin America and the Caribbean, a figure that boosted the rate of unemployment from 7.5 percent to 8.4 percent, according to a report the International Labor Organization (ILO). The urban unemployment rate in Latin America is expected to fall slightly this year from 2009, the ILO said, crediting governments with softening the worst of the economic crisis. "We want to stress the positive impact of policies many governments put in place, which in many cases helped to contain the impact of the crisis on employment," the report said. The organization recommended the continued use of stimulus measures to consolidate gains, Reuters reports. Regional economic growth dropped to a projected 1.8 percent in 2009, according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), AP adds. The commission said recovering demand for commodities like oil and copper should boost growth to 4.1 percent in 2010. But ILO Director for Latin America Jean Maninat said job creation will lag during the recovery, with the number of unemployed likely hovering around 18 million.