Africa's Got Work to Do: Employment Prospects in the New Century

40 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2013

See all articles by Louise Fox

Louise Fox

World Bank - Office of the Chief Economist

Cleary Haines

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Jorge Huerta Munoz

World Bank

Alun H. Thomas

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

Estimates of the current and future structure of employment in sub-Saharan Africa (2005–20) are obtained based on household survey estimates for 28 countries and an elasticity-typemodel that relates employment to economic growth and demographic outcomes. Agriculturestill employs the majority of the labor force although workers are shifting slowly out of thesector. Sub-Saharan Africa’s projected rapid labor force growth, combined with a lowbaseline level of private sector wage employment, means that even if sub-Saharan Africarealizes another decade of strong growth, the share of labor force employed in private firmsis not expected to rise substantially. Governments need to undertake measures to attractprivate enterprises that provide wage employment, but they also need to focus on improvingproductivity in the traditional and informal sectors as these will continue to absorb themajority of the labor force.

Keywords: Employment, Sub-Saharan Africa, Labor markets, Agricultural sector, Private sector, Wages, Cross country analysis, labor force, agriculture, industry, services, wage employment, household enterprises, public employment

JEL Classification: J00, J21

Suggested Citation

Fox, Louise and Haines, Cleary and Munoz, Jorge Huerta and Thomas, Alun, Africa's Got Work to Do: Employment Prospects in the New Century (October 2013). IMF Working Paper No. 13/201. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2346251

Louise Fox (Contact Author)

World Bank - Office of the Chief Economist ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States

Cleary Haines

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Jorge Huerta Munoz

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Alun Thomas

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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