Decades ago, getting a job was pretty easy. Prospective applicant had ample opportunity to make a choice from the available vacancies that were plenty, even allowing eligible workers to choose where to work and what to accept as take-home pay. Today, the story is different; getting a job is like the proverbial needle passing through the eyes of a Carmel. Jobs are shrinking; factories and businesses are closing shops; millions of workers are losing their jobs daily, and those who hold on to one are not paid as at when due. The plights of both the employed and unemployed are pathetic and heartbreaking. For instance, the International Labour Organisation, ILO, reported that about 205million people across the world were out of work in 2010 as a result of the 2008 global economic recession. But a new report released recently by the same body predicted a further rise in unemployment by 2019. The report stated that by 2019, more than 212 million people will be out of work, up from the current 201 million. The report tagged: World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2015, further explained that the slowdown in the supply of labour is caused partly by the world’s aging population. The report added that only 42 percent of the world’s workforce have stable contracts, or have permanent contracts among those who earn salaries, which invariably leads to growing job insecurity. The dwindling share of steady jobs comes against the backdrop of soaring global unemployment, which means that working in such conditions is not a guarantee for prosperity as they find themselves in dire poverty. For instance, today, experts say10 percent of the global workforce live on earnings less than $1.25. No doubt, for the working population, difficult times lie ahead. The way forward therefore is to ensure that policies and programmes take into
consideration the evolution of how we work. With the number of older people rising everywhere in the world, it means the share of older workers aged 55 or above in the world’s workforce is likely to increase by a further 270 million to almost 750 million by 2030. On the other hand, an aging labour force means skill mismatch that will cost more to deal with, as companies will need to shift the workplace to the needs of older workers. But more crucially, to effectively tackle this worsening economic crisis, which has put workers and the poor in a perilous situation, governments at all levels must as a matter of urgency apply necessary measures that will stimulate and expand the economy so that it can retain and absorb the increasing number of job seekers. In order to diversify the economy and generate additional sources of foreign exchange for the country, employers of labour, particularly the private sector must pay more attention to agriculture which is the largest employer of labour, as well as the solid minerals sector as these would diversify the economy and generate additional sources of foreign exchange for the country. In addition, the educational curriculum should be changed from placing emphasis on paper qualification and white collar jobs to practical skills and self employment. Indeed, if the right policies and activities are in place, there is no reason why local and foreign investors will not flock in grooves to invest their capital in the creation of the much needed jobs for countries with over growing jobless population. Therefore, we need more creative thinking and smart policies to create new jobs, even in the most unlikely areas of the economy, bringing back lost ones, retain and expand existing jobs and continue the search for more new ones. By so doing, we will be growing the economy in such a way that it will continuously absorb more and more unemployed people.