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Macroeconomics and Economic Growth

Unemployment rates are falling—but what about youth and women?

Tamar Manuelyan Atinc's picture

Persistently high unemployment rates continue to trouble policymakers in developed and developing countries alike—but the recent Job Trends report brings some good news. After successive years of disappointing labor market performance, several countries in Eastern Europe may finally be turning the corner. These countries suffered most during the financial crisis, so the recovery in job creation is much needed to boost family incomes. In the rest of the developing world, the headlines are positive even while we see some moderation in employment and wage growth in Latin America and East Asia.

I have two concerns at this stage. I suspect most observers of the world economy share my first concern that the incipient recovery is fragile, given the continuing economic turmoil in Europe. But I am also concerned with what’s happening with specific groups, such as youth and women. I have a hunch that the recovery is and will be uneven with youth, women and the less skilled having a harder time finding jobs—even if aggregate numbers show steady gains. The crisis hit young workers hard, particularly young men, and countries are dealing with long-term consequences. Unfortunately, few countries know what’s happening with groups of workers because the data are not collected routinely or if they are, the results are available only with a relatively long lag time.

Where recent data are available, the story is mixed. Although youth unemployment remains alarmingly high at 20-30 percent,

Are Emerging Markets Leading the Way in Job Creation?

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Photo: Wiki Commons User_KozuchWith a few exceptions, industrialized nations are still struggling with unemployment, unable to recover completely from the 2008 economic crisis. In the U.S. things seem to be improving as the unemployment rate fell in January to 8.3 percent, its lowest level since early 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Should We Still Worry About Food Prices?

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Food prices are finally coming down after a year of spikes and high volatility. But we must remain vigilant. Prices of certain foods remain very high, and millions of people around the world are still at risk of suffering from malnutrition and hunger.

Let’s get to the numbers first.

Food Prices and the 7 Billionth Baby

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Photo: World BankTurmoil is not solely circumscribed to Wall Street and stock markets around the world. Volatility is also affecting global food prices, and with them, millions of people in developing countries. So, just as the world marks the birth of the 7 billionth baby this week, his or her family might be struggling to put food on the table.

Reliable Supply Chains: The Answer to Country Development and Growth

Monica Alina Mustra's picture

In today’s interconnected world economy, efficient, reliable and cost-effective supply chains have become necessities in global trade. Trading in a timely manner with minimal transaction costs allows a country to expand to overseas markets and improve its overall economic competitiveness.

Jobs, or more precisely, the lack of jobs is now a Global Issue

The crisis around jobs is particularly acute this time not just because 205 million people worldwide are officially unemployed, nor because the quality of available jobs are frequently perceived to be declining, especially the routine middle-grade white-collar jobs workers in the developed countries, nor is it just because skilled and talented people who are in short supply earn multiples of the average salary.  The problem in today’s post-crisis world is that policymakers and practitioners around the world are no longer sure how to create jobs, and just as and perhaps even more important, how to

Credit Ratings Matter for Those Who Need Them Most

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Debt and credit ratings keep making headlines. But for a moment, forget about their impact in the U.S. and Europe, where an abundant set of economic data exists both for international investors and bondholders. Instead, think of what would happen if you lived in one of the 58 developing countries that remain unrated by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch, the three international credit rating agencies.

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