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Labor and Social Protection

Immigrant labor: Can it help Malaysia’s economic development?

Rafael Munoz Moreno's picture


Malaysia has been able to reach remarkable achievements over the past decades, including extreme poverty eradication and promotion of inclusive growth. It aims to reach a high-income nation status by 2020, which goes beyond merely reaching a per capita GDP threshold. As the 11th Malaysia Plan points out, the goal is to achieve a growth path that is sustainable over time, reflects greater productivity, and is inclusive. High-income status can be achieved if we ensure that future generations have access to all the resources, such as education and productive opportunities, necessary to realize their ambitions and if Malaysia’s economy is globally competitive and resource-sustainable.

Over the years, immigrants have played a crucial role in the economic development of Malaysia, with around 2.1 million immigrants registered and over 1 million undocumented as of 2013. Education levels among the Malaysian population have increased remarkably over the last two decades, and immigrant workers have become one of the primary sources of labor for low-skilled occupations, most commonly in labor-intensive sectors such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing. Economic studies show that a 10% net increase in low-skilled foreign workers could raise Malaysia’s GDP by 1.1% and create employment and increase wages for most Malaysians.

快速老龄化的东亚地区怎样才能保持其经济活力?

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: English
Panos Agency


过去三十年来,东亚地区收获了人口红利。大量且不断增长的劳动力对上世纪六十至九十年代人均收入增长的贡献接近三分之一,使得该地区成为全球增长引擎。
 
当前,东亚地区正面临另一个人口趋势构成的挑战:人口快速老龄化。新发布的一份世界银行报告发现,东亚和太平洋地区人口老龄化速度和规模均位于全球各地区首位。
 
目前,超过2.11亿65岁及以上人口居住在东亚和太平洋地区,占全球该年龄组别总人口36%。到2040年,东亚地区老龄人口将增长一倍以上,达到4.79亿;韩国、中国、泰国等国适龄就业人口将萎缩10%-15%。
 
纵观该地区,随着适龄就业人口减少和老龄化加速,政策制定者正关注人口老龄化对经济增长的潜在影响以及医疗卫生、养老金和长期养老体系对公共支出日益增加的需求。

随着该地区人口快速老龄化,政府部门、用人单位以及各家庭应如何确保辛勤工作的人们在进入老龄阶段后过上健康且有产出的生活?东亚和太平洋地区各社会应如何促进生产性老龄化并且提升包容性?

How can rapidly aging East Asia sustain its economic dynamism?

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Also available in: 中文
Panos Agency


In the last three decades, East Asia has reaped the demographic dividend. An abundant and growing labor force powered almost one-third of the region’s per capita income growth from the 1960s to the 1990s, making it the world’s growth engine.
 
Now, East Asia is facing the challenges posed by another demographic trend: rapid aging. A new World Bank report finds that East Asia and Pacific is aging faster – and on a larger scale – than any other region in history.
 
More than 211 million people ages 65 and over live in East Asia and Pacific, accounting for 36 percent of the global population in that age group. By 2040, East Asia’s older population will more than double, to 479 million, and the working-age population will shrink by 10 percent to 15 percent in countries such as Korea, China, and Thailand.
 
Across the region, as the working-age population declines and the pace of aging accelerates, policy makers are concerned with the potential impact of aging on economic growth and rising demand for public spending on health, pension and long-term care systems.
 
As the region ages rapidly, how do governments, employers and households ensure that hard-working people live healthy and productive lives in old age? How do societies in East Asia and Pacific promote productive aging and become more inclusive?
 

We Children Can Help Other Children Too

Mateo Fernandez's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



​Hi, my name is Mateo. I am 9 years old. Every night my mom reads me a story.  Many times she tells me a story about how some boys are fortunate to be born rich, and some are not. My mom always reminds me that I am among the fortunate.  My mom helps a program called the Program Keluarga Harapan that teaches less fortunate mothers to educate their kids. The less fortunate mothers work extra hard, because they want their children to have a better future than them.

Realizing the hopes of unemployed youth in Papua New Guinea

Walai Punena Jacklyn Tongia's picture



I met Gilford Jirigani at a workshop in Port Moresby a few months ago. What struck me about him was his natural confidence and poise as he captured the audience’s attention - including mine-as he told us how one project changed his life. He went from being an unemployed kid, down and out and unclear about his life in the city, to eventually becoming one of the pioneers of a youth program aimed at increasing the employability of unemployed youth in Port Moresby in 2012.

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.

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