NEW DELHI: The lack of good jobs is one of the most significant issues affecting societies globally. A combination of technological and economic forces, such as globalization, automation and the gradual decline of public sector jobs, is causing social unrest in developing and developed countries alike.

A new paper by Dani Rodrik of the Harvard Kennedy School of Public Policy and Charles Sabel from the Columbia Law School highlights the underlying causes of the global jobs crisis while offering policy solutions to generate better quality jobs.

The authors emphasize that new technological trends, such as automation, the knowledge economy and digital technologies, remain concentrated in a limited number of sectors and metropolitan centres. New technology is also generating fewer good jobs.

The authors define a good job as stable formal-sector employment that enables at least a middle-class lifestyle by a region’s standards.

They also establish how good jobs can go a long way in redressing social unrest and, therefore, have benefits beyond economics.

The authors argue that the global shortfall in good jobs is a massive failure of the capitalist market economy that needs to be redressed through a strategic collaboration between the private sector and the state aided by enabling legislation and regulation. For instance, providing support services and subsidies to some firms could help bridge the gap between their current low-productivity performance and allow them to participate in more technologically advanced sectors. Finally, the authors describe the importance of political will in establishing a good jobs strategy.

This, the authors suggest, would require a departure from existing employment policies which have focused on transfers and redistribution of wealth.

Instead, the authors argue that governments should work with the private sector to build a clear growth strategy that generates the jobs the world needs.

Also read: Building a good jobs economy


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