Overview

  • Good jobs are the surest pathway out of poverty. Over the last decade, rising labor incomes accounted for around 40% of the drop in poverty worldwide; the other important factor reducing poverty is smaller family sizes, which are also often linked to people getting better jobs.

    But the developing world faces a jobs crisis that hampers efforts to end extreme poverty and to boost shared prosperity. Over two billion working age people are out of the labor market, and over 65% of workers — which add up to another two billion people— work in low-productivity jobs and do not earn enough to escape from poverty.

    So, the challenges of finding Pathways to Better Jobs are at the heart of the development challenge of low-income countries. The main challenges are:

    1.    Creating more jobs. Over the next 15 years around 600 million jobs are needed to absorb the youth entering the labor market. The great majority of those jobs will need to be in the private sector.

    2.    Increasing the quality of jobs. Just having a job isn’t enough. In fact, in low income countries, most people already work. The problem is that they have bad jobs that produce low incomes. What makes a difference is having a more productive job, with better working conditions. As well as creating as many formal sector jobs as possible, it is also crucial to improve the productivity and earnings of jobs in the informal sector—which are the main source of income for most people in low-income countries.

    3.    Connecting people to jobs. Not all workers have the same opportunities: women, youth, and the poorest families are disadvantaged in the labor market. Low female labor force participation is a key challenge. We must work to eliminate the multiple barriers that prevent disadvantaged workers from acquiring the skills they need and accessing better jobs.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

  • The World Bank Group supports developing countries in the design and implementation of integrated, multi-sector job strategies, and the mobilization of global knowledge to address the jobs challenge. We accomplish this through:

    Jobs Diagnostics, which identify the key labor market challenges countries face. The World Bank has completed over 30 Jobs Diagnostics using macroeconomic, household, and firm data. Recent Jobs Diagnostics have highlighted the jobs challenges faced in Jordan, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania.

    Jobs Strategies, which outline potential solutions to address these challenges. Key interventions include: the reform of macroeconomic and regulatory policies to establish a positive environment for competitiveness and private sector growth, including the development of good quality infrastructure services; the modernization of labor regulations and implementation of active labor market programs that help workers access better jobs; and sectoral and regional programs that strengthen the demand for labor.

    Lending Operations: The World Bank Group supports countries to implement their jobs strategies through policy advice and lending operations at both national and regional levels. These programs cover a broad range of interventions including both policy based lending and investment project lending, across a broad range of Global Practices encompassing, for example, education and training programs; programs to connect small farmers to formal value chains; support for entrepreneurship and for small and medium enterprises, and investments in infrastructure and information and communications technology.

    The Jobs Group has developed standardized methods, tools, and guidelines to enhance our diagnostics, strategies, and operations. This helps us understand what works, what does not, and what can be scaled up for job creation. We often use pilots accompanied with rigorous evaluations to test the proposed solutions. Additionally, the World Bank’s Jobs Group develops monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools to support jobs lending operations and to monitor and report on the WBG portfolio of jobs-related projects.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

  • The World Bank Group has responded strongly to client countries’ demands for support to generate more good jobs for poor people. As of March 2019, the World Bank alone has over 580 active projects with a jobs theme, with investments totaling US$75 billion. This represents almost a third of our lending portfolio and is spread across all regions and fifteen Global Practices. A growing share of the investment projects use results-based designs. All our projects have results frameworks which specify the relevant outputs and, in many cases, incorporate rigorous impact evaluations. A few examples include:    

    • The Integrated Growth Poles and Corridor Project in Madagascar created 30,851 jobs in targeted poles by strengthening the enabling environment for entrepreneurship and by channeling private investments in productive infrastructure and improved services delivery.
    • In Nepal, the ongoing Enhanced Vocational Education and Training Project aims to improve equitable access to market relevant training programs and to strengthen the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector service delivery. To date, the program has trained 16,087 youth including migrants by enrolling them in market-relevant short-term training programs
    • The Economic Opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian Refugee program-for-results operation provides a holistic approach to the Syrian refugees' influx, targeting both the Jordanian host communities and the refugees in Jordan.  The project transforms the Syrian refugee crisis into a development opportunity by attracting new investments and opening up the EU market with simplified rules of origin – all with the aim to create jobs for Jordanians and Syrian refugees while supporting the post-conflict Syrian economy. The project has issued almost 43,000 work permits to Syrian refuges with a target of 130,000 by December 2019.

     

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

  • Partnerships are central to our engagement in the jobs agenda. Some of our key partnerships are:

    The Jobs Umbrella Multi-Donor Trust Fund provides financing to expand the frontiers of global knowledge through innovation about jobs. It currently finances over 103 grants in 40 countries in six regions, valued at approximately $40 million. These activities include projects associated with Let's Work and S4YE, described below.

    Let’s Work is a global partnership encompassing over 25 private sector organizations, International Financial Institutions and Multilateral Development Banks. It was established to find solutions to create more and better private sector jobs. It primarily focuses on the private sector, which creates nine out of ten jobs.

    Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE): is a multi-stakeholder coalition among public sector, private sector, and civil society actors that aims to provide leadership and resources for catalytic action to increase the number of young people engaged in productive work. Systemic unemployment and underemployment affect millions of young people worldwide. To tackle this issue, S4YE’s mission is to develop innovative solutions to youth employment through practical research and active engagement with public and private stakeholders to enable solutions at scale.

    Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD): Nearly one out of seven people in the world is a migrant. KNOMAD is a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise located in the World Bank’s Jobs Group. Experts from around the world synthesize knowledge and generate new evidence to assist policymaking in sending and receiving countries. The Migration and Development team is responsible for data and diagnostics, research and policy solutions and support to lending operations relating to migration (other than forced displacement), remittances and diaspora matters.

    The Partnership for Economic Inclusion is a new global partnership created to accelerate policy, good practices, and knowledge on interventions that support extreme poor and vulnerable segments to increase their earnings, productivity, and assets. The partnership will work with governments to help them implement and scale up and strengthen systems for graduation-style programs, which offer cash, coaching, skills training, transfer of seed capital or productive assets, and access to financial services such as savings and seed capital.

    The Jobs Group also works with key external partners engaged in aspects of the jobs agenda, such as: the International Labor Organization (ILO); the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), the G20 Employment Working Group, the International Trade Unions Conference (ITUC), and the Network on Jobs and Development, among others.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

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