Employment trends in the 21st century

Population Explosion in the Developing World

The problem of unemployment in developing countries during the past half century has been the result of a period of rapid but unbalanced development. The most obvious of these is rapid population growth, which resulted in the tripling of the world's population over the past seven decades. The world's population rose from about 2 billion in 1930 to 2.5 billion in 1950 and 6.6 billion in 2006, a growth of 164 percent. 1

This population explosion was itself the result of a dramatic improvement in human life expectancy around the world due to improvements in nutrition and health as a result of higher food production and the dissemination of medicines . The sudden and dramatic reduction in infant mortality and increase in life expectancy generated imbalances in developing societies, because they were not immediately accompanied by commensurate changes in reproductive behavior or proportionate expansion of education institutions and economic activity.

It has taken half a century for the main impact of the population explosion to gradually subside. Changes in reproductive behavior have brought down the birth rate in most parts of the world nearer to replacement levels .

Gradually educational systems in these countries have also been radically expanded to accommodate the surging size of the student age population .

Meanwhile, faster rates of economic growth, particularly in Asia have accelerated job creation to the point where it is matching or even outpacing growth of the labor force .

Lower birth rates, higher levels of education and training, and higher rates of economic growth are gradually restoring the balance between population and employment opportunities.

Demographic Revolution in OECD Countries