Employment and quality jobs

In an effort to better understand the role policy could play in the growth of good jobs, this research programme will address four broad topics of research.

The first topic examines what we know about the link between growth and employment and whether this relationship has changed over time. Evaluating this issue naturally requires analysis of the role macroeconomic and structural policies plays in determining employment outcomes. Which instruments of macroeconomic policy are the most promising for employment creation? How can we assure that monetary and fiscal policy enhance access to finance and encourage development? What is the role of industrial and sectoral policy in determining employment outcomes? How do structural policies – such as financial or product market regulation – affect the link between growth and job creation?

The second topic looks at the role of human capital development. Youth unemployment has become a threat to the social, economic and political stability of nations. This sub-theme will explore how employers can constructively promote skill formation among young people, and what institutional set-ups and success factors could help in improving formal apprenticeship systems in three sectors with high employment potential.

All countries, irrespective to their level of economic development, have labour market regulations. As those regulations shape growth, employment performance and the quality of jobs, the third topic will identify optimal institutional and policies arrangements for enhancing both job creation and the quality of jobs in the formal and informal economies.

The fourth topic focuses on the role of SMEs in employment creation. Which policies are most favourable in fostering entrepreneurship, growing businesses and generating jobs? How is enterprise performance influenced not only by labour market regulation, but also by product market regulation?

Featured publications

  1. ILO Research paper No. 9

    Labour formalization and declining inequality in Argentina and Brazil in 2000s: A dynamic approach

    This paper analyses the processes of labour formalization in Brazil and Argentina and its interrelation with the evolution of income inequality over the 2000s. It also contributes to the debates on formalising the informal and how to reduce income inequality.

  2. ILO Research paper No. 8

    Understanding the drivers of the youth labour market in Kenya

    This paper examines the macroeconomic and individual elements affecting youth unemployment and inactivity in Kenya with a view to discussing the elements that are important for the youth labour market challenges.

  3. ILO Research paper No. 7

    Macroeconomic policy advice and the Article IV consultations: Comparative Overview of European Union Member States

    This paper examines 67 IMF Article IV consultations in 27 EU member states between 2008 and 2011, and shows that there is an overwhelming emphasis on fiscal consolidation, reduction of social expenditures, and measures that weaken the bargaining power and income of labour, and make it difficult to promote growth and employment.

  4. ILO Research paper No. 6

    Employment and Economic Class in the Developing World

    This paper introduces a model for generating national estimates and projections of the distribution of the employed across five economic classes for 142 developing countries over the period 1991 to 2017.

  5. ILO Research paper No. 5

    Trade and Employment in a Vertically Specialized World

    This paper decomposes the employment effects of a country’s trade into five components, specifically the labour content (1) in exports, (2) in imports, (3) in the import content of exports, (4) in the export content of imports, and (5) in intermediates contained in imports from a third country using the factor-content and input-output methods.

  6. ILO Research paper No. 4

    The comments of the ILO's Supervisory bodies: Usefulness in the context of the sanction-based dimension of labour provisions in US free trade agreements

    This paper looks at recent complaints under the labour chapters of three US trade agreements – the CAFTA-DR, the US-Bahrain and the US-Peru FTAs – and undertakes a preliminary analysis of the use of the comments of the ILO’s supervisory bodies in the regulation mechanisms of labour provisions contained in those trade agreements

  7. ILO Research paper No. 3

    Structure Matters: Sectoral drivers of growth and the labour productivity-employment relationship

    The paper uses accounting methods to decompose aggregate labour productivity and employment growth into their sectoral components as well as into within-sector and employment reallocation effects for a sample of 81 countries.

  8. ILO Research paper No. 2

    Macroeconomic policy advice and the Article IV consultations: A Development perspective

    The paper undertakes a content analysis of 2009-2010 IMF Article IV consultations for a sample of 30 low-income and 20 middle-income countries and points out that insufficient attention have been given to employment generation, poverty reduction and expansion of social protection

  9. Global Report

    2012 Global Employment Trends for Youth

    This report examines the continuing job crisis affecting young people in many parts of the world. It provides updated statistics on global and regional youth unemployment rates and presents ILO policy recommendations to curb the current trends.

  10. Working paper

    Regional Trade Agreements and domestic labour market regulation

    Employment Working Paper No. 120

  11. Working paper

    Addressing the employment challenge: India's MGNREGA

    This paper examines, in particular, the effects of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) programme on employment, wages and incomes of the rural poor. It also considers its effect on overall growth of the economy.

  12. Working paper

    Monetary policy and employment in developing Asia

    This paper assesses the role and challenges of central banks in the Asian region in using monetary policy to promote productive employment and achieve positive labour market outcomes

  13. Working paper

    Macroeconomic policy for full and productive employment and decent work for all: Sri Lanka country study

    Employment Working Paper No. 110

  14. Working paper

    Diverging trends in unemployment in the United States and Europe: Evidence from Okun's law and the global financial crisis

    This paper presents estimates of Okun’s coefficients for a number of developed countries, and shows that there is considerable variation across countries, which captures the heterogeneity in the responsiveness of unemployment to the global financial crisis. The paper also looks at the relationship between these coefficients and labour market institutions.

  15. Book

    Towards an employment-oriented growth strategy

    This book provides an analysis of the composition of growth and its implication for employment creation over the past years in Viet Nam and assesses the employment challenge both in quantitative and qualitative terms.

  16. Book

    Export and FDI-driven industrialization strategy and employment in Viet Nam

    This book provides analyzes of investment, trade, and globalization policies and a review of their impacts on the world of work and labour market in Viet Nam

  17. Book

    Informal economy in Viet Nam

    This book provides a global picture of informal economy in Vietnam and explores the determinants of transitions between formality and informality

  18. Working paper

    Fiscal and policy space for crisis response with a focus on employment and labour market: Study of Bangladesh

  19. Book

    Regulating for Decent Work. New directions in labour market regulation

    This book advances the academic and policy debates on post-crisis labour regulation by identifying new challenges, subjects and theoretical perspectives. It identifies central themes in the contemporary regulation of labour, including the role of empirical research in assessing and supporting labour market interventions, the regulation of precarious work and the emergence of new types of labour markets.

  20. Book

    From downturn to recovery: Cambodia’s garment sector in transition

    This book brings provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact the downturn has had on a leading manufacturing sector and offers insight into the opportunities and constraints of a low-wage, labor-intensive export model for industrial development, with far-reaching social and economic implications.

Research Links

  1. Trade and employment