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Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Last updated on: November 24, 2011 10:04 IST

Image: Real wages saw an increase.

While workers in the United States and Europe are having a difficult time in not only finding a job but also keeping it, the situation in South Asia, including India, is somewhat different.

According to the World Bank, job creation in South Asia averaged just fewer than 800,000 a month between 2000 and 2010.

Real wages rose for wage workers, and poverty declined for the self-employed, as well as other types of workers.

Wages and poverty are the primary criteria for improved job quality that guide the analysis. A reduced risk of low and uncertain income for the most vulnerable group of workers is a secondary criterion for improved job quality.

The improvement in job quality has been associated with accelerating economic growth in Bangladesh and India since the 1980s.

In Nepal, where growth has been slow over several decades, it is massive out migration in response to limited opportunities at home that has improved labor market prospects for those who remain.

Workers' remittances have reduced poverty across a wide swath of households.

Let us have a look at the labour situation in South Asia, with particular emphasis on India.

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Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Delhi's swanky Metro station.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Annual growth in working-age population, employment and labour force in selected South Asian countries

India 1985-2010

Working age population: 2.3 per cent

Employment: 2.2 per cent

Labour force: 2.2 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Derawer Fort at Cholistan Desert in Pakistan
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan 2000-2010

Working age population: 2.9 per cent

Employment: 3.6 per cent

Labour force: 3.6 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Sadarghat port in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Bangladesh 2000-2010

Working age population: 2.3 per cent

Employment: 2.5 per cent

Labour force: 2.6 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Sri Lanka 2000-2010

Working age population: 1.0 per cent

Employment: 1.2 per cent

Labour force: 1.0 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: View of Dhaulagiri mountain from Ghorepani, Nepal.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Nepal 1995-2010

Working age population: 2.8 per cent

Employment: 3.3 per cent

Labour force: 3.3 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Gateway of India in Mumbai.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Distribution of employment by type in South Asia, by country

India 2010

Self-employed (low end): 43 per cent

Self-employed (high end): 8 per cent

Casual wage: 32 per cent

Regular wage and salaried: 17 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: St Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan 2009

Self-employed (low end): 50 per cent

Self-employed (high end): 13 per cent

Casual wage: 17 per cent

Regular wage and salaried: 21 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Sunset at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Bangladesh 2005

Self-employed (low end): 62 per cent

Self-employed (high end): 2 per cent

Casual wage: 22 per cent

Regular wage and salaried: 14 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: A tree plantation in Sri Lanka.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Sri Lanka 2008

Self-employed (low end): 34 per cent

Self-employed (high end): 9 per cent

All wages: 57 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Market day at Namche Bazar in Khumbu, Nepal.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

Nepal 2008

Self-employed (low end): 80 per cent

Self-employed (high end): 2 per cent

Casual wage: 10 per cent

Regular wage and salaried: 8 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: India saw 2.8 per cent rise in mean real wages.

Average annual increases in mean real wages in selected countries in South Asia

India 1983-2010: 2.8 per cent

Pakistan 2000-2009: 2.0 per cent

Bangladesh 2002-2005: 1.9 per cent

Sri Lanka 2000-2008: 0.1 per cent

Nepal 1999-2008: 2.9 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Rural non-farm workers went 1.1 months without work.

Average number of months without work in the past year, casual labourers in India, 2009-2010, by sector

Agriculture: 1.4 months

Rural non-farm: 1.1 months

Urban: 0.9 months

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Casual workers are 38 per cent of rural workers in India.

Share of rural and urban workers in India

Rural 2009-2010

Casual labour: 38 per cent

Self employed: 54 per cent

Regular wage or salaried: 8 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Casual labourers form 17 per cent of urban workers in India.

Urban 2009-2010

Casual labour: 17 per cent

Self employed: 41 per cent

Regular wage or salaried: 43 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: East Asia and Pacific saw 8.4 per cent growth.

Annual growth in GDP per capita, by region, 2001-2010

South Asia: 5.9 per cent

East Asia and Pacific: 8.4 per cent

Latin America and Caribbean: 2.8 per cent

Middle East and North Africa: 3.0 per cent

Sub-Saharan Africa: 2.5 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikipedia Commons.

Annual growth in GDP per capita in South Asia, by country, 2001-2010

India: 6.6 per cent

Pakistan: 2.8 per cent

Bangladesh: 4.3 per cent

Sri Lanka: 4.9 per cent

Nepal: 1.9 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Firms say telecommunication is a major problem.

Severity of constraints reported by South Asian benchmark firm in the urban formal sectors

i) Political instability

ii) Telecoms

iii) Courts

iv) Business licensing

v) Transport

Note: A benchmark firm is a medium size manufacturing firm with 30 employees that is domestically owned, does not export or import, is located in a large city, and did not expand employment in the preceding three years.

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Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Getting electricity is a big problem for companies in India.

Top five constraints reported by Indian benchmark firm in the urban formal sector

India

i) Electricity

ii) Corruption

iii) Tax administration

iv) Labour regulations

v) Labour skills

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: Indian companies are more likely to give bribe for construction permit.

Per cent of Indian firms expected to give gifts to public officials, by type of interaction

Construction permit: 67 per cent

Meeting with tax officials: 57 per cent

Operating licence: 55 per cent

Import licence: 48 per cent

Electrical connection: 38 per cent

Water connection: 26 per cent

Government contracts: 24 per cent

Phone connection: 19 per cent

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: An Indian worker gets two weeks' severance for one-year service.

Weeks of wages paid in severance by selected length of service.

India

One-year service: 2 weeks

Five-year service: 11 weeks

10-year service: 21 weeks

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: A Pakistani worker gets four weeks' severance for one-year service.

Pakistan

One-year service: 4 weeks

Five-year service: 21 weeks

10-year service: 43 weeks

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: A Bangladeshi worker gets five weeks' severance for one-year service.

Bangladesh

One-year service: 5 weeks

Five-year service: 25 weeks

10-year service: 50 weeks

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: A Sri Lankan worker gets 11 weeks' severance for one-year service.

Sri Lanka

One-year service: 11 weeks

Five-year service: 54 weeks

10-year service: 98 weeks

...

Jobs: South Asian nations that are booming

Image: A Nepali worker gets four weeks' severance for one-year service.

Nepal

One-year service: 4 weeks

Five-year service: 21 weeks

10-year service: 43 weeks