World Must Create 600mn New Jobs: WB

New Delhi – The global economy needs to create an additional 600 million new jobs to absorb the increasing working-age populations mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank said in a report.

According to the World Development Report 2013, at a time when the world is struggling to emerge from the global crisis, some 200 million people including 75 million under the age of 25 are unemployed.

Looking forward, to keep employment as a share of the working-age population constant, in 2020 there should be around 600 million more jobs than in 2005, with a majority of them in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The youth challenge alone is staggering,” World Development Report Director Martin Rama said in a statement.

Rama added that “More than 620 million young people are neither working nor studying. Just to keep employment rates constant, the worldwide number of jobs will have to increase by around 600 million over a 15-year period”.

The report emphasised the importance of jobs and said that they are critical to achieving economic and social development.

“They are critical for reducing poverty, making cities work, providing youth with alternatives to violence,” the report said, adding that a good job can change a person’s life, and the right jobs can transform entire societies.

According to World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Kaushik Basu, “jobs are the best insurance against poverty and vulnerability. Governments play a vital enabling role by creating a business environment that enhances the demand for labour.”

Governments need to move jobs to centre stage to promote prosperity and fight poverty, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

“It’s critical that governments work well with the private sector, which accounts for 90 per cent of all jobs.

Therefore, we need to find the best ways to help small firms and farms grow. Jobs equal hope. Jobs equal peace. Jobs can make fragile countries become stable,” Kim said.

According to the report, while some countries have experienced very large increases in their labour force – nearly 8 million new entrants a year in China since the mid-1990s and 7 million in India – while others face a shrinking population, the report said.

Moreover, jobs agendas at the country level are connected by the migration of people and the migration of jobs. Policies for jobs in one country can thus have spillovers on other countries – both positive and negative.

At the turn of the 21st century, there were more than 200 million international migrants worldwide, nearly 90 million of them workers, the report said.

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