Rapid Ageing Population Main Challenge in Asia-Pacific Labour Market

May 29, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-ILO

There is a need for robust social dialogue among workers, employers, and governments to address complex employment issues, according to the International Labour Organisation’s Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2024.

The organisation noted that while Asia-Pacific labour markets have recovered well since the global pandemic, they still face significant challenges due to the region’s rapidly ageing population.

The report projects that unemployment in the region will remain roughly unchanged at 4.2% in 2024 and 2025, corresponding to 87.8 million people out of work in 2024. Despite the overall unemployment rate being below pre-pandemic levels, there are considerable variations between subregions and countries.

The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing a rapid demographic shift, with the ratio of people aged 65 and above expected to double by 2050. This shift will increase the economic dependency ratio, presenting further challenges for sustaining economic growth.

“The Asia-Pacific region may be ageing rapidly, but it is not going to run out of workers. However, there is an urgent need to ensure that those seeking decent work can access the necessary training and opportunities to meet evolving labour market demands,” said Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.

The region’s jobs gap, representing the total unmet need for employment, amounted to 164 million in 2023. This figure highlights the significant number of women who would like to work but cannot search for a job due to caregiving responsibilities.

The report also underscores persistent issues related to working poverty and informality. A substantial proportion of workers remain in low-quality, informal employment despite decades of economic growth.

 “Two in three workers were in informal employment in 2023, an improvement of only 2 percentage points over the course of 10 years,” said the ILO.


The HR Observer

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