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The economic and social consequences of robotization

Harm Bandholz's picture
Harm Bandholz, guest blogger, is the Chief US Economist for the UniCredit Group
Worker in an industrial factory in India. Photo: World Bank

Robots are just one of the latest stages of technological progress. The number of robots being used by businesses to boost productivity has increased rapidly in recent years. And there is no reason to believe that this pace of robotization will begin to slow any time soon.

Jobs and mobile phones in Africa

Safia Khan's picture

Safia Khan, guest blogger, is a researcher at Research ICT Africa

In much of Africa there has been a rapid uptake of mobile phones. Their ability to contribute to increased welfare outcomes such increased gender equality and the alleviation of extreme poverty has been widely discussed. But, analysis of the impacts of such information and communication technology (ICT) on the labor market outcomes of those in developing countries, is almost non-existent.

Our top picks for summer reading on jobs and development

Nicholas Charles Lord's picture
The town of Mafraq in the north of Jordan had 90,000 inhabitants before the Syrian crisis, with the influx of refugees its population has swelled to 200,000. Photo: William Stebbins / World Bank

We have curated the following articles and papers for summer reading. They highlight the ongoing coverage of the impact of technology and jobs, the need for new sets of skills relevant to the digital economy, the need for refugees to find work quickly and the global imperative for creating good jobs in Africa.

Youth paving the road to 2030

Nicole Goldin's picture
Students from University of Ghana. Photo: World Bank


Chandni is a 20 year old Bangladeshi young woman with big dreams. She dropped out of school to care for her family, including her unemployed brother.  Without childcare, reliable transportation or affordable internet, she isn’t able to enroll in supplemental courses.  Without an education or skills, she can’t find decent work and is caught in a vicious cycle of generational poverty. 

What our 10 best read blogs are telling us

Nicholas Charles Lord's picture
 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.

The jobs challenges of urbanization in India and Pakistan

Michael Kugelman's picture
Michael Kugelman, guest blogger, is the senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.
A busy train station in Mumbai, India. Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

India and Pakistan are urbanizing at remarkably rapid rates. India’s urban population has increased from less than 20 percent of its overall population in 1951 to more than 30 percent today. In Pakistan, the share of the urban population—well under 20 percent in the 1960s, is more than a third today.

Why are women working less under capitalism than communism?

Joanna Tyrowicz's picture
A woman works in a call center. Photo: © Flore de Préneuf / World Bank

The last three decades have seen a transition from central planning to market systems across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). But over the same period there has been a consistent decrease in women’s employment. Prior to the transition, CEE countries were characterized by a relatively high employment ratio among women. Gender employment gaps were generally lower in CEE under central planning and then increased over the course of transition. 

Advancing a 21st century skills agenda for today's youth

Matt Hobson's picture
Also available in: Español


On World Youth Skills Day, we acknowledge the millions of young people that are falling in between the cracks because of a “skills gap” – a mismatch on the skills that they have acquired and the skills demanded by today’s employers.

Towns, not cities, are best for jobs and poverty reduction

Luc Christiaensen's picture
In our rapidly urbanizing world, cities lead economic growth and job creation. However, just focusing on mega cities and metropoles ignores the fact that the majority of the urban population still lives in secondary urban centers, or towns. We believe a focus on employment in secondary towns, rather than just cities, can help create more, better and inclusive jobs.  
 

Does informality help inclusive growth in Africa?

Kezia Lilenstein's picture
There is great pressure on African governments to produce inclusive patterns of economic growth. Levels of inclusivity in Africa lag those of other developing regions. Part of this gap is due to the fact that the majority of the labour force is not participating in the formal economy in these countries. But the informal labour market absorbs the more vulnerable groups in the economy, including women and youth. Further, most people in informal employment are better off than they would be in unemployment or outside the labor force. So whether informality is good or bad for inclusive growth overall depends on the type of informal employment.
 

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