" I Need a Job!!"

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You've heard the saying, “It’s better to have a bad job than no job.”  What constitutes a bad job? Two things come to mind: inadequate pay or working conditions that are so dangerous or harmful that no one else is willing to do the job. 

Recent International Labour Organization (ILO) reports on global and regional employment trends paint a stark picture of rapidly increasing unemployment.  The situation is expected to worsen with massive job losses.  Especially hard hit will be poor women and young people.

People migrate to urban areas in search of employment, but now urban unemployment rates are three times higher than in rural areas.   The youth unemployment rate is many times higher than for adults.  The female unemployment rate is higher than for males.

The South Asian labor force is 600 million strong, with more than 100 million working poor, and is growing at 2.3% per annum.  This accounts for a quarter of the global labor force.  Labor markets have become an increasingly important development issue in South Asia, not least because of the sheer size of the labor force.

Wages in casual markets, or spot wages, are low, barely above the poverty level for workers with families. As a result more than a quarter of the labor force don’t earn enough to take their families out of poverty.  In Pakistan, not only are wages low, but real earnings declined during the late 1990s, sharply arresting the decline in poverty.  In India, real wage growth has softened since 2000, particularly for middle income workers.