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The Least Developed Countries Report 2013

Growth with Employment for Inclusive and Sustainable Development

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The Least Developed Countries Report 2013 analyses the employment challenge of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Demographic projections indicate that around 225 million people in LDCs will be entering the labour force until 2030. Hence, creating sufficient and decent employment opportunities for all will be a real challenge. However, recent experience shows that the link between growth and employment in LDCs is not automatic. The LDC Report 2013 aims to raise awareness and galvanize the attention of policymakers to the magnitude of the problem. It also reviews and analyses recent labour market performance of the LDCs, compares it with the future needs in relation to job creation, and elaborates concrete policy recommendations for growth with employment.

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Overview

Despite the sluggish global economic performance of recent years, the least developed countries (LDCs) in general have enjoyed moderate economic growth. Per capita income for the group as a whole has been expanding steadily, raising hopes that some of them may even be able to graduate from the category within the decade. However, there are worrying signs that this growth trend has not been inclusive and that its contribution to poverty reduction has been limited. The main explanation for the lack of inclusiveness is that growth in LDCs has not generated enough “quality” jobs — that is, jobs offering higher wages and better working conditions — especially for the young. Creating employment opportunities is critical because of the fundamental role that work plays in economic development and in people’s lives. Not only does it influence income, aggregate demand and investment decisions, it is also the best and most dignified pathway out of poverty.

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