Published on Jobs and Development

What our 10 best read blogs are telling us

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 Construction workers from Egypt are building stronger river banks along the Nile river to protect it from erosion. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Summer is a time for reflection, for taking stock and seeing what is trending. So far this year, the Jobs Group has published 39 blogs on a wide range of topics. But what blogs have resonated most with our readers? Below you will find our most-read blog posts. In true top ten style, they are presented them in reverse order.

10. Fear the disconnection, not the machine
Siddhartha Raja, the Jobs Group’s lead specialist on jobs and technology writes that rather than fearing the impact of new technology on jobs, ‘the more immediate worry is about the effect of businesses not adopting today’s technologies.’ Read it here.  

9. A blueprint for better jobs in Kenya
Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta presents the results of the Jobs Group’s jobs diagnostic on Kenya. She reports that Kenyan companies face many constraints and that ‘For Kenya’s economy to create better jobs, there needs to be a thriving private sector.’ There also needs to be a particular focus on skills development for Kenyan youth. Read it here.

8. The jobs challenges of urbanization in India and Pakistan
Michael Kugelman from the Woodrow Wilson Centre looks at the rapid pace of urbanization in India and Pakistan. He notes that for ‘urbanization to be a true boon for employment, policymakers in both countries will need to address major challenges in the areas of education, labor economies, and basic service provision.’ Read it here.

7. Does informality help inclusive growth in Africa?
Kezia Lilenstein, from the DPRU at the University of Cape Town, notes that African informal labor markets employ more women and youth. Therefore, finding ways to support these informal jobs will make Africa’s growth more inclusive. Read it here.

6. Advancing a 21st century skills agenda for today’s youth
Matthew Hobson, the World Bank’s Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) program lead writes that ‘access to quality training and developing skills relevant to the labor market play a key role in finding solutions for youth employment.’ He outlines what such skills development programs could look like. Read it here.

5. Everyone needs tech skills not just youth
Piotr Lewandowski from the IBS in Warsaw shows how older cohorts of workers suffer most when faced with technology changes brought about by liberalization and transition. ‘We need to make sure that older workers and those already in the work force have the skills to take advantage of technological change,’ he writes. Read it here.

4. Towns, not cities, are best for jobs and poverty reduction
Luc Christiaensen from the Jobs Group believes that just looking at the urbanization via megacities, ignores the greater potential of secondary towns to create jobs and reduce poverty. ‘We believe a focus on employment in secondary towns, rather than just cities, can help create more, better and inclusive jobs,’ he writes. Read it here.

3. Jobs and health in South Africa
Chijoke Nwosu from Georgia State University analyses the causes of low labor force participation and high unemployment in South Africa. He concludes that poor health is a key factor. He notes that authorities should ‘explicitly incorporate health policy as a key component of labor market policy in South Africa.’ Read it here.

2. Economic growth not enough for jobs in Ghana
Willian Baah-Boateng from the University of Ghana presents analysis that shows despite high levels of economic growth, Ghana has not created enough jobs. ‘This calls for investment in areas that would promote manufacturing and agricultural activities, where the potential for job creation is high,’ he writes. Read it here.

1. Moving towards a universal basic income
Andy Stern used to run one of the most powerful unions in the US, the SEIU. Now he has a new mission. In an extract from his recently published book, he argues for the introduction of a Universal Basic Income. ‘here

What does this list tell us? Firstly, it reinforces a number of our key messages, in particular that data from many developing countries shows that economic growth does not automatically lead to job growth. Moreover, there is intense interest in finding ways to get more young people working productively. There is also a confirmation that solving the jobs crisis cuts across boundaries. To create more, better and inclusive jobs, we need to address problems in areas such as health, urban planning, labor regulations and skills developments. Many thanks to all of our colleagues and partners for contributing such a wide array of fascinating blogs.

Follow the World Bank Jobs Group on Twitter @wbg_jobs

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