Growth, Productive Employment and Decent Work in the Least Developed Countries

The Growth, Employment and Decent Work in the Least Developed Countries report has been prepared for the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (Istanbul, 9-13 May 2011). It reviews trends in growth, employment and decent work in LDCs, highlighting challenges and opportunities for structural transformation, job creation and poverty eradication and offers a portfolio of policy options for job creation and poverty reduction to be tailored to country needs and circumstances. This title is available in electronic format only. For more information please contact"

The report addresses a number of key issues in growth and employment across the three main regions of Africa, Asia and the Island countries. It finds growth in the last decade to be high, but volatile, because it has been based on exports of primary commodities rather than a diversified production structure. Lack of diversification is reflected in weaker development of manufacturing, perpetuation of low-productivity agriculture and food deficits. While macro fundamentals improved, massive deficits in public infrastructure, education and skills have constrained a more sustainable and balanced growth strategy.

As a result of unbalanced growth and an uncertain policy environment, there has been a weak increase in productive employment, especially for young people. High levels of working poverty persist, and so do vulnerable employment, informality and low productivity. The need for social protection and a social floor is dire, as much for protection as for development, as the chapter on social protection highlights.