EMPLAB branch

The EMPLAB branch structure

EMPLAB has three technical units:
  • Employment Analyses and Economic Policies Unit (EMPLAB/ANALYSES)
  • Employment Strategies for Inclusive Transformation Unit (EMPLAB/STRATEGIES)
  • Labour Market Services for Transitions Unit (EMPLAB/SERVICES).

EMPLAB/ANALYSES carries out gender-sensitive analytical work and provides assistance and policy advice on employment dynamics and economic policies. The unit contributes to global policy debates on employment in the G20, BRICS and other relevant contexts including in connection to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It provides analyses of overall trends in employment and labour markets, including for youth and women, macroeconomic and sectoral policies for full employment and productive economic transformation, and future of work drivers in relation to national employment policies.

EMPLAB/STRATEGIES promotes employment-rich growth and inclusive transformation and contributes to the achievement of SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth, including indicator 8.b.1 on youth employment strategies. The unit leads ILO technical assistance on the new generation of gender-responsive national employment policies, drawing on country employment diagnostics and related research. Future of work challenges and related policies are a core area of the unit’s work in the context of national employment policies.

EMPLAB/SERVICES works on labour market services for transitions over the life cycle – comprising gender sensitive employment services and active labour market policies and activation measures, with a focus on public employment services in a changing world of work. The unit specialises in supporting the design and delivery of job-search and matching services, active labour market policies and employability-related programmes that promote more efficient and faster integration in decent and productive work.

EMPLAB also includes two thematic groups – Gender in Employment (EMPLAB/GENDER) and Youth Employment Accelerator (EMPLAB/YOUTH) – whose work cuts across that of the three units:

• Gender in Employment (EMPLAB/GENDER) endeavours to ensure that the analyses and promoted strategies, programmes and policies, and their implementation at the national, regional and global levels, are gender-responsive.
• The Youth Employment Accelerator (EMPLAB/YOUTH) promotes and positions ILO’s work on youth employment in the international context, including in connection to the 2030 Agenda; coordinates the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and enhances country-level action and impact in consultation with the branch Units.
An administrative unit (EMPLAB/ADMIN) supports the Branch Chief in the overall planning and management of branch operations.

What we do

The activities of the EMPLAB branch fall under three main categories:

• Knowledge development and dissemination:

- Research and studies on global employment trends, the employment implications of crises including the COVID-19 crisis, emerging labour market issues, such as the impact of future of work drivers, country employment diagnostics and thematic insights on macroeconomic and sectoral policies, gender in employment and youth issues.
- Databases on employment and youth employment policies to inform action, including in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Dissemination of youth employment tools and evidence through the Decent Jobs for Youth Knowledge Facility.
- In person and online conferences, symposia and other events to share and debate research outcomes and emerging evidence.
• Advisory and training services:

- Policy advice on context-specific employment promotion strategies and related measures.
- Technical advice to ILO constituents and other stakeholders. Services relate to formulation, implementation and evaluation of specific gender-responsive employment policies and programmes.
- Expert advice on measurement and assessment of labour market policies, projects and programmes, with a focus on youth employment.
- Support to voluntary peer review mechanisms of ILO constituents on employment policies.
- Training courses and peer learning activities at global, regional and country levels, including online, face-to-face, and blended activities.
• Advocacy and partnerships:

- Information, advocacy campaigns and joint promotional events.
- Networking and partnerships for more and better jobs.

How we work

The work of the EMPLAB branch is guided by international normative and policy instruments (notably the Employment Policy Convention No. 122) relevant to the promotion of employment and decent jobs for all.

The branch responds to the demands and needs of ILO constituents, and other relevant development stakeholders. Its services consider the specific circumstances of countries in terms of the economic and labour market situation, and sectoral composition, along with the challenges faced by different population groups (youth, working age, older workers) and different types of workers (formal, informal), including the most vulnerable ones.

EMPLAB seeks to influence policy change through social dialogue and participatory practices. Its Geneva-based staff teams up with ILO employment specialists in the different regions to offer coordinated responses to contextual, contemporary challenges.

Over the years, the branch has built and consolidated partnerships with different research and educational institutions, and it continues to enjoy the support of other UN entities, multilateral and bilateral agencies, regional institutions, foundations, civil society – including youth organizations, and private companies. EMPLAB’s activities are consistent with larger multi-stakeholder efforts in the employment and development fields, including the UN framework for the response to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.