Where Do We Work?
Operationalizing support for jobs transformations
The World Bank Group finances investment operations which are relevant to improving jobs outcomes. We do this through IDA and IBRD policy lending, lending for results and investment lending, and IFC investment operations. In 2019, our jobs-related projects reached almost 10 million beneficiaries, including 6.5 million in IDA countries and 3 million female beneficiaries.
Key points of entry include: macroeconomic and regulatory reform; finance sector development and infrastructure programs which enable better opportunities for private investment; support to agricultural value chains that link farmers to markets on more favorable terms; targeted programs to support private sector development (e.g. Special Economic Zones and SME development programs); spatial development programs that create spaces for better jobs and help workers access them (e.g. secondary city development); environment programs (e.g. the promotion of “green jobs” ); and human capital programs (education, training, active labor market policies, and social protection).
Jobs and COVID-19
The disruptive impact of the COVID-19 crisis on workers, labor markets, and livelihoods has further underlined the importance of the jobs agenda.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped the global economy for over two years, with persisting negative economic and jobs impacts. These effects have so far prevented a full and balanced recovery of labor markets and will also affect a future generation of workers.
Governments have responded quickly to address the immediate jobs challenges of COVID-19, by using:
(i) liquidity support for firms,
(ii) wage subsidies to retain jobs; and
(iii) income support for the unemployed and vulnerable households.
But they need to continue to address the medium and long-term effects of the pandemic by stimulating job creation, re-employment, and economic inclusion. And they’ll have to do so in a world beset by disruptive technological change and shifting patterns of demand.
There is an urgent need to strengthen health and social protection systems to provide robust universal coverage and reduce their dependence on financing through labor taxes, which creates disincentives to the growth of better jobs.
Knowledge and Research for Solutions
As well as supporting the implementation of established good practices, we also mobilize global knowledge and support cutting-edge research on jobs challenges such as:
- How to promote private investment and firms’ growth (especially in labor-intensive sectors);
- How to link independent producers to product and financial markets so they can raise their productivity and earnings;
- How to reform social protection systems to cover informal workers and reduce barriers to the growth of formal jobs;
- How to support well-managed domestic and international labor mobility toward places with higher jobs potential; and,
- How to help disadvantaged groups to get the skills and jobs they need, through improved training systems and active labor market policies.