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Labor and Social Protection

China’s urbanization lessons can benefit the global community

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: 中文

(Infographic) China: Better Urbanization Leads to Higher-Quality Growth for All People

We all know urbanization is important: Nearly 80% of gross domestic product is generated in cities around the world. Countries must get urbanization right if they want to reach middle- or high-income status.

But urbanization is challenging, especially because badly planned cities can hamper economic transformation and cities can become breeding grounds for poverty, slums and squalor and drivers of pollution, environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s why it’s important for us to build cities that are livable, with people-centered approaches to urbanization and development. That will allow innovation and new ideas to emerge and enable economic growth, job creation and higher productivity, while also saving energy and managing natural resources, emissions and disaster risks. When the process is driven by people, it can lead to important results, the same way London and Los Angeles addressed their air pollution problems.

中国城镇化经验可造福全世界

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: English

(Infographic) China: Better Urbanization Leads to Higher-Quality Growth for All People

众所周知,城镇化很重要:全世界近80%国内生产总值由城市创造。一国如想进入中等收入或高收入国家行列,就必须要正确推进城镇化。

但城镇化具有挑战性,突出原因在于规划很差的城市有可能阻碍经济转型,也有可能成为滋生贫困、贫民区和肮脏的温床,还有可能成为污染、环境退化和温室气体排放的驱动器。

这就是我们要采用“以人为本”的城镇化模式和发展模式构建宜居城市的原因所在。推进城镇化可促进创新,催生新创意,为经济增长、新增就业和提高生产率创造条件,同时还可以节约能源,管理自然资源、二氧化碳排放和灾害风险。城镇化进程如由人推动,就有可能产生重要成果。伦敦和洛杉矶就是采用这一方式来解决其空气污染问题的。

East Asia and Pacific countries can do better in labor regulation and social protection

Truman Packard's picture

Those unfamiliar with the fast growing emerging economies of East Asia are likely to think that governments in these countries let market forces and capitalism roam free, red in tooth and claw. That was certainly my impression before coming to work in the region, and generally that held at the outset of our work by the group of us that wrote a new World Bank report “East Asia Pacific At Work: Employment, Enterprise and Wellbeing” .

The report shows just how wrong we were. We could be forgiven this impression—many of us had come from assignments in Latin America and the Caribbean or in Europe and Central Asia, where the distortions and rigidities from labor regulation and poorly designed social protection are rife, and where policy makers cast envious looks at the stellar and sustained employment outcomes in East Asia.

Well, it turns out that although they came relatively late to labor regulation and social protection, many governments in the region have entered this arena with gusto. We were surprised to find that, going just by what is written in their labor codes, the average level of employment protection in East Asia is actually higher than the OECD average.

The Philippine Jobs Challenge: How to create more and better jobs?

Karl Kendrick Chua's picture
The Philippine Jobs Challenge
By 2016, around 12.4 million Filipinos would be unemployed, underemployed, or would have to work or create work for themselves in the low pay informal sector by selling goods like many seen here in Quiapo, Manila.

The Philippines faces an enormous jobs challenge. Good jobs—meaning jobs that raise real wages or bring people out of poverty—needed to be provided to 3 million unemployed and 7 million underemployed Filipinos—that is those who do not get enough pay and are looking for more work—as of 2012.

In addition, good jobs need to be provided to around 1.15 million Filipinos who will enter the labor force every year from 2013 to 2016. That is a total of 14.6 million jobs that need to be created through 2016.

Did you know that every year in the last decade, only 1 out of every 4 new jobseeker gets a good job? Of the 500,000 college graduates every year, roughly half or only 240,000 are absorbed in the formal sector such as business process outsourcing (BPO) industry (52,000), manufacturing (20,000), and other industries such as finance and real estate.

Jobs and skills: more answers to your questions

Lars Sondergaard's picture

(Last week, I posted: “Wanted: Jobs and your questions about how to find them” on this blog. We received dozens of questions back through social media. Lars Sondergaard, a World Bank expert on education, answered some of them in a video and now he gets to a few more here. He throws out some questions of his own and would love to hear back from you. — Anne Elicaño)

Anonymous asked through the blog: I was wondering about job outlook for chemical and mechanical engineers in the future”

If you are just about to graduate as an engineer and worry whether you will be able to find a job, I have some good news: in most countries, too few students study engineering relative to the jobs available with the results that engineering graduates tend to have an easier time finding employment than their peers. A lot is written about this vibrant demand, check out this article in Forbes about the demand for engineers  (or the World Bank’s “Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth”)

Answers to your questions on jobs and skills

Anne Elicaño's picture

 Earlier this week I asked you to send us your questions about the link between jobs and skills --which should I acquire to make it in the current job environment? Thanks for all the replies --there were so many and so interesting that Lars Sondergaard, our expert, will address in a separate blog post next week the ones that couldn't make it into the video interview. Stay tuned!

 

Wanted: Jobs –and your questions about how to find them

Anne Elicaño's picture
Lars Sondergaard will answer 5 of your questions in a video

Use social media to ask the World Bank about the type of skills and education that are needed in today’s global economy.

The global economic recession has made the search for a good, stable job even more significant.  In Asia, where I’m from, jobs have always been foremost in young people’s minds because of the harsh conditions brought about by social and economic inequality or, if you’re not from a developing country, the previous generations’ memory of it. We don’t have an equivalent to a “gap year” to take time out between the life stages of high school and university to travel.

What can make a person more employable? Policymakers say that having the right skills and good education largely have something to do with that. It’s not just about being able to go to school. In Thailand and some other countries, schools are linking with companies so that students can enhance the skills their future employers needs. A World Bank report, Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth, also recommends investing more in research and scholarships, prioritizing underfunded but important subjects like engineering and sciences, and improving the management of public universities.

Have your say

Do you have a question about the effect of the recession on joblessness in your region? Or the type of skills most needed by the market?

We’re asking an expert on education, Lars Sondergaard, to take questions in a video interview that we’ll post at the end of this week. 

Here’s how to get involved:

Send your question using the comment function below to ask our expert. You can do it right now. You can also join the conversation on Twitter (send your questions to @worldbankasia) or on Facebook.

So what are you waiting for? Ask now and share with your friends!

Whither Malaysia’s brain drain?

Philip Schellekens's picture

Brain drain—the migration of talent across borders—has an impact on Malaysia’s aspiration to become a high-income nation. Human capital is the bedrock of the high-income economy. Sustained and skill-intensive growth will require talent going forward. For Malaysia to be successful in its journey to high income, it will need to develop, attract and retain talent. Brain drain does not appear to square with this objective: Malaysia needs talent, but talent seems to be leaving.

Far from home in China: conversations with migrant workers searching for opportunities in urban centers

Joe Qian's picture
Quality Control Inspector Jiang Peng walks on scaffolding along the foundation of the water treatment facility.

While traveling through China recently, I had an opportunity to visit the Shanghai Urban Environment project in the emergent suburban district of Qingpu and spoke to a number of workers responsible for the implementation and completion of the project.

As with many infrastructure and urban development projects in China, the speed and magnitude can be astonishing, with hundreds of employees working around the clock to ensure timely completion. Work on the facility runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with construction workers from all over China contracted to work and live onsite until its completion in 2011. Once finished, it will improve water service, coverage, and waste water management in the region which will be essential for sustaining the increasing population and living standards.

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