Livelihoods refers to quality job opportunities that, whether through formal employment or entrepreneurship, provide dignified income, marketable skills, and sustained security that can empower the poor to lift themselves out of poverty. Insecure livelihoods can take multiple forms (unemployment, informal status, or working poor) and affects every industry in poor and rich countries alike.
Quality jobs, more than just quantity, are a core driver of development. Developing countries encouraging the creation of quality jobs (defined as higher productivity roles with regular earnings) are achieving faster economic growth. Countries with robust formal job markets have larger revenue streams (e.g. taxation) useful to reinforce other government programs.iii The global job landscape is changing rapidly due to globalization of supply chains, shifting demographics, urbanization, and population growth, which can contribute significantly to widening inequality and threaten the economic, political, and social stability of societies.iv According to estimates, 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 15 years to absorb the growing global workforce, mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.v
Global markets provide equitable access to jobs that ensure a livable wage, safe working conditions, skill-building opportunities and a secure, sustainable income for all individuals. Small and medium enterprises are thrive in developing regions, feeding the development of regional human capital through high quality job opportunities and training. Thriving local markets also provide entrepreneurs with the support and opportunity to build livelihoods through healthy lending markets, supportive regulatory environments and robust social safety nets.
i International Labor Organization (link)
ii International Labor Organization (link)
iii Financial Times (link)
iv International Labor Organization (link)
v World Bank (link)
vi International Labor Organization (link)
vii International Labor Organization (link)
viii International Labor Organization (link)