Industrial Development Report 2013

Sustaining Employment Growth - The Role of Manufacturing and Structural Change

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The Industrial Development Report 2013 examines the role of structural change and employment and explores the underlying drivers of structural change in manufacturing. While manufacturing employment is growing in developing countries, its decrease in developed countries is being mitigated by the rise in manufacturing-related services employment. The food and beverages and textiles and garments industries offer least developed countries tremendous potential for industrialization, whereas high-tech industries hold numerous opportunities for developed countries to invest and innovate and to thus sustain jobs. The impact of the critical drivers of structural change and industrialization—namely costs, technology, demand and resource efficiency—to sustain employment hinges on the industrial policies adopted. These must therefore be geared towards the structural transformation of the economy and will only be effective if the policy-making process plays as important a role as the policy content.




Since the eruption of the financial crisis in 2008, much of the public debate has focused, after decades of silence, on development economics: how to sustain growth, create lasting jobs, generate incomes and enable the accumulation of wealth, thus eradicating the scourge of poverty and preventing social polarization and fragmentation. The rising number of unemployed people in industrialized economies, the unrest in the streets of Northern Africa, the increasingly vocal demands from voters in emerging economies and the discussion towards a new international agenda for development, all point in the same direction – at the central role that productive activities and jobs have in the life of individuals and countries.


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