The jobs challenges facing developing countries are immense. More than 200 million people worldwide—disproportionately youth—are unemployed. Another 2 billion working age adults—mostly women—remain outside the workforce. Barriers to employment must be removed to ensure inclusive opportunities in the labor market for often disadvantaged groups: women, youth, and the poorest. On top of this, developing countries will need to create 600 million additional jobs by 2030, just to keep up with population growth. And, to capture the benefits of technological advances, countries will need to ensure that their citizens have the education and skills to succeed in the jobs of a modern economy. Success in these areas is critical. Good jobs give people the means to lift themselves out of poverty, which in turn helps make countries more stable economically and socially, and ultimately benefits global economic growth.
The jobs agenda is a top priority for the World Bank. Improving financial access, strengthening skills training, supporting a strong private sector, and building sustainable infrastructure helps connect people to job opportunities that can help end poverty and promote economic and social stability within countries and across borders. The World Bank supports private sector-led growth to create jobs and works with countries to design and implement multi-sector job strategies and mobilize global knowledge to address the jobs challenges they face. The World Bank’s approach to the jobs challenge includes:
Building Knowledge. The World Bank helps countries identify key challenges they face in their labor markets through jobs diagnostics. Using macro, household, and firm data, the bank helps to ensure governments focus on the fundamentals, drill down to the critical sectors and regions necessary to create job markets that benefit the poor, and help create the evidence base needed to develop policies for better and more inclusive jobs in today as well as helping to prepare for the future.
Finding Solutions. The World Bank helps to build jobs strategies to address countries’ jobs challenges. Governments need policies to help the private sector create more jobs, invest in infrastructure such as transport and information and communications technologies, and improve market linkages to connect people to jobs and markets. Key interventions supported by the World Bank include: macro and regulatory policies; labor regulations and active labor market programs; and targeted programs to create jobs by addressing sectoral and regional needs.
Financing Programs. To support countries in implementing these jobs strategies, the World Bank provides lending for operations and reforms, at national or regional levels. These can involve programs that promote entrepreneurship or connect small informal producers to formal value chains, the development of small and medium enterprises, and, more broadly, investments in infrastructure and information and communications technology.