The Challenge of Job Creation in Asia

Publication | April 2006

With at least 500 million Asians conservatively estimated to be unemployed or underemployed and some 245 million new workers expected to enter the region's labor markets over the next decade, Asia faces the formidable challenge of creating large numbers of productive and better paying jobs to absorb its underutilized labor force. While economic growth is vital for generating jobs and improving standards of living, the links between economic growth, job creation and earnings are complex.

As pointed out in this policy brief, several dimensions of labor market outcomes in Asia indicate that economic growth has not been particularly inclusive. After discussing the factors that may be responsible for this, the policy brief provides an outline of some policy responses that hold promise in enabling the region's economies to generate many more productive jobs than they have been generating.

Contents 

  • Introduction
  • I Labor Market Outcomes in Asia: Areas of Concern
  • II What is Driving Labor Market Outcomes?
  • III Policies for Generating Productive Employment
    • A Big Push for the Rural Sector
    • Promoting Jobs in the Formal Sector
    • Export Push
  • IV Concluding Remarks
  • References