New Report: What Leads to Global Job Creation and Employment?

Creating employment opportunities for the world’s growing youth population is a critical part of improving livelihoods and combating poverty. TechnoServe has contributed to a new World Economic Forum briefing paper that identifies keys to global job creation.

three young people in Africa doing job training with a computer

What is changing in global markets? What new challenges have emerged in tackling unemployment? What are the most effective tools we have to create new jobs?

Those are the questions at the center of a new briefing paper by the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Job Creation. The council brings together leading experts from private-sector companies, government, international institutions, universities, and nonprofit organizations–including TechnoServe’s vice president for entrepreneurship and new ventures, Juan Carlos Thomas.

Global Trends in the Job Market

The briefing paper begins by recognizing the urgent need to create new jobs, particularly in regions where the population is growing rapidly. It cites data from the African Development Bank that one million young people join Africa’s workforce each month, but the continent only creates enough new jobs for one quarter of them.

The lack of job opportunities for young people in many parts of the world is contributing to rising migration and conflict.

Emerging technology, such as generative AI, is also transforming the global job market. While much of the public discussion has centered on the ways this technology could make some jobs obsolete, the paper also points out the rapid rise in job ads looking for workers with experience using AI.

There is also great potential to create green jobs, and the paper emphasizes the importance of ensuring that opportunities in the green economy also benefit socially vulnerable groups.

Tools for Job Creation

The briefing paper also identifies a number of approaches that can boost employment in this rapidly changing global economy. These include investment in infrastructure that can help create more inclusive economies, such as communications cables to increase internet speed in Africa.

The paper also points to the importance of promoting international trade, particularly as many companies are looking to diversify their supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Training programs will also be essential to help workers acquire the new skills in demand within the shifting economy.

The Role of Small Businesses in Creating Jobs

TechnoServe’s Juan Carlos Thomas is particularly excited about one approach: supporting the growth of small businesses.

“The world faces an urgent question: how will we create the 600 million new jobs needed for young people entering the workforce between now and 2030?” he told the World Economic Forum Agenda in 2023.

“The answer lies in small business,” he continued, noting that micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises already account for 70% of formal jobs in these economies. “Making sure that entrepreneurs have access to information, finance and markets at scale will help the sector further recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, grow, and become engines for job creation.”

As the briefing paper makes clear, job creation is an urgent priority for the globe–but there are a number of promising solutions that can be scaled up.