A Regularity in Employment Patterns in Developing Countries: Jobs and Good Jobs
Looking at patterns of employment across developing countries (DCs), Mahmood finds that the quantum of employment growth is not the best estimator of labour market improvement or distress. This is because lack of social protection compels the poor to work, which means that employment growth is determined primarily by labour force growth—that is, by supply-side demographics rather than by demand-side economics. He argues that job quality is a better estimator of labour market improvement or distress. Job quality, measured in terms of the working poor, vulnerability, and labour productivity, climbs consistently up the per capita income ladder across DCs. This yields a second empirical regularity—that reductions in vulnerability improve job quality, thereby raising productivity and allowing DCs to climb up the income ladder.