ADDIS ABABA (ILO News) – The ILO seminar running from 20 July to 24 July 2009 is a follow-up to the endorsement of the four new employment indicators under the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDG) Target 1b (Achieve full productive employment and decent work for all) by the Secretary General of the UN and the President of the General Assembly at a UN High Level Meeting on the 25th September 2008.
This specific seminar therefore aims to support country analysis of new indicators, in order to ensure employment and Decent Work feature prominently in the international MDG discussions. The seminar brought together over forty five participants from across the African region (Ethiopia, Botswana, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania – including Zanzibar, Uganda, and Zambia).
The Addis Ababa technical seminar is also a follow-up to the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization that recommends the establishment of appropriate indicators or statistics, if necessary with assistance of the ILO, to monitor the progress made in the implementation of the ILO Decent Work Agenda.
The seminar included the following sessions:
■Labour Market Information in participating countries,
■Sources of Labour statistics,
■The full set of MDG employment-related indicators,
■Decent Work indicators and identifying priorities in participating countries,
■Tanzania’s experience in calculating the new MDG employment related indicators,
■Wage indicators; minimum wages and informal employment,
■Producing MDG reports.
This first African preview of the Guide to the New Millennium Development Goals Employment Indicators is an opportunity for all the seminar participants to contribute to the ongoing review of the usefulness and applicability of the Guide
This Guide has been produced as a tool for country level use. It provides definitions, concepts and formulas for each of the new employment indicators as well as the existing indicators 3.2 under Goal 3. It is part of ILO’s wider support to strengthening national level labour market information and analysis to inform policy making.
In February 2007, the Secretary-General of the United Nations began a two-year devoted effort in the Commission for Social Development to actions which “promote full employment and decent work for all.” Resolutions adopted guided the work of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group (IAEG) in their efforts to expand the MDGs to include a new target for employment and four new employment indicators. The indicators call on all countries to report progress and provide disaggregate data by sex and urban/rural as far as possible.
The aim of this Guide is to inform national and international stakeholders on the definitions, concepts, calculations and data sources for each of the new employment indicators introduced in 2008 under the MDGs. It also reinforces the existing indicator on gender equality in the labour market under Goal 3. The purpose is to assist countries to monitor and report effectively on their employment situation. It should be recognized that the four new employment indicators are an important contribution to monitoring the Decent Work Agenda, as recommended by the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. They should be seen in the context of the fuller set of proposed Decent Work Indicators (DWIs) that cover the four strategic objectives of the Decent Work Agenda namely employment; social protection; social dialogue and tripartism; and fundamental principles and rights at work.
This target contains four indicators specifically and directly relating to employment issues. This Guide focuses on these four new employment indicators:
Existing Employment Indicators:
■Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
New Employment Indicators:
■Growth rate of labour productivity (GDP per person employed)
■Proportion of employed people living below the poverty line
■Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment (vulnerable employment rate)
These employment indicators are designed to:
■Provide relevant and robust measures of progress towards the new target of the Millennium Development Goals
■Be clear and straightforward to interpret and provide a basis for international comparison
■Be relevant and link to national-level country monitoring systems
■Be based on ILO international standards, recommendations and best practice in labour statistics, information and analysis
■Be constructed from well-established data sources which enable consistent measurement over time
The need to monitor employment trends internationally and at country level is not new, but it is more urgent than ever given the impact of economic crises that began in late 2008. The slowdown in economic growth in both developed and developing countries is cutting into government revenues and their abilities to invest in infrastructure, health and education. As economies slow, job losses and vulnerable employment increases and productivity declines. ILO’s projections show dramatic increases in unemployment, working poverty and vulnerable employment.
There is an urgent need, therefore, to have accurate and detailed data and information regularly produced on employment, especially among the poorest segments of the population.
The economic crisis is just one of the reasons for strengthening labour market information. There is need in most countries to strengthen employment information which can inform national development plans and priorities. By establishing a set of indicators on the labour market and monitoring them regularly, evidence-based policy decision making can be strengthened.
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