Job creation needs to be central to Tajikistan’s development priorities, highlights new World Bank report
DUSHANBE, February 14, 2017 - A new report by the World Bank highlights Tajikistan’s need to prioritize job creation in order to achieve its development objectives and reduce poverty. The report, Tajikistan Jobs Diagnostic: Strategic Framework for Jobs, analyzes the main challenges the country faces in creating jobs and sets out policy recommendations to enable the creation of more and better jobs that are also more inclusive of women and youth.
The report was presented today to policy makers and representatives from the government, development community and civil society organizations at an event hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan and the State Committee for Investment and State Property Management of Tajikistan.
“The Tajikistan Jobs Diagnostic is a timely and important product, as it talks about domestic job creation for Tajikistan’s growing population,” said Patricia Veevers-Carter, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The World Bank stands ready to support private sector development and job creation, as critical elements of poverty reduction and increased shared prosperity in Tajikistan.”
According to the report, Tajikistan’s economy is not creating sufficient jobs for its rapidly growing workforce, in particular the growing youth population. As a result, its most valuable asset – human capital – is largely under-utilized. Only 43 percent of Tajikistan’s total working age population are in the labor force, with disproportionally high numbers of women and young people particularly under-represented.
The formal private sector, which is an important source of quality jobs, is also not well developed in Tajikistan. Formal wage employment in the private sector represents just 13 percent of total employment, while the share of potential entrepreneurs who try to start a business is very low, at 11.8 percent, pointing to significant barriers to starting and running a business. The majority of the existing formal private sector firms are small and young, and they appear to face constraints or disincentives to growth.
The report proposes policy recommendations around private sector development, policies to improve incentives for formal jobs and better access to jobs through labor market programs.
“While the challenges are significant, the report outlines specific recommendations that can address those challenges and improve job outcomes in Tajikistan,” said Victoria Strokova, World Bank Economist and co-author of the report. “These recommendations are based on the analysis in the jobs diagnostic and draw on a large volume of additional work, as well as consultations with the Government, private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders.”
Currently, the World Bank is financing 23 projects in Tajikistan, with a net commitment of US$ 369.3 million. The projects aim to support economic growth through private sector development, while also investing in public services such as education, health, water and sanitation, and social protection. The World Bank is committed to continuing its support for Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.