Why jobs and livelihoods matter

By Aurelio Parisotto, Senior Economist, International Labour Organization

Girls carry bricks in the town of Zemio in Uganda
Girls carry bricks in the town of Zemio in Uganda

As we approach the 2015 deadline for the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we have a golden opportunity to put jobs and livelihoods at the top of the international development agenda. This is not simply according to the ILO. The first results of the UN ‘My World’ global survey, which asked people in 190 countries for their priorities for a post-2015 development agenda, show that “jobs are a high priority everywhere.”

From Albania and Jordan to Vietnam and Zambia, the call for more and better job opportunities was also made loud and clear in online discussions and national consultations organized by the UN. In Uganda, of the 17,000 people consulted, about half said that getting a job was their top priority. Many also mentioned the need for better social protection, especially in informal sectors where economic and social insecurity is high.

These demands are not surprising given the current global labour market situation.

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