World of Work 2014: Developing with jobs

This year’s edition focuses on developing countries and argues that quality jobs are a key driver for development. It draws on evidence from over 140 developing countries and finds that a common factor amongst those countries that have achieved higher per capita income and sustained growth was quality jobs.

Trade liberalization and investment in infrastructure and education have long been regarded as the key drivers of economic development. However, this approach has failed to address the vulnerable economic growth patterns typically found in many developing countries, rising youth unemployment – including among graduates, and widening income inequalities.

This report assembles new evidence based on a detailed examination of trends and policy innovations in over 140 developing countries. It finds that strategies which focus on promoting decent work opportunities tend to yield sustained development results. Few countries that improve economic growth without a corresponding increase in quality jobs manage to sustain healthy economic performance. By contrast, economic growth that goes hand in hand with improved decent work outcomes is generally found to be sustainable. The report also considers “what works” in terms of promoting more and better jobs and, consequently, development. It discusses the following issues:
• How does decent work interact with the economic, investment and anti-corruption policies that are needed to achieve economic and human development?
• What makes employment policies and social protection successful in developing countries?
• To what extent can the gains from development be shared fairly while maintaining enterprise dynamism? And what is the role of labour standards in this respect?
• How can migration be turned into a positive development factor?

The report provides an evidence-based contribution to the debate on the post-2015 development agenda.