Integrated Social Policy Report IV: Labour Markets and Labour Market Policy in the ESCWA Region
Whatever one thinks of as factors of growth and development, the human factor – human intelligence and creativity – is the most important source. Abundance of capital and natural resources certainly helps, but it still takes people to turn such resources into their most productive use. Markets do not automatically generate efficient allocation of resources. It is people who make investment decisions and find the most appropriate mix of resources for economic activity.
But why then do so many countries in the ESCWA region make such limited use of their human resources? Why do they send so many of their best and brightest people abroad? What is it that inhibits the productive employment of well-educated young people? What are the mechanisms that prevent economic growth from translating into more and better employment?
This report seeks to answer such questions by looking at the performance of labour markets in ESCWA member countries and the policies that have been applied by Governments over the years to improve them. In line with the mission of ESCWA to advocate for and support policy integration across different policy domains, the report embraces a comprehensive approach to labour market analysis, integrating statistical data collection with an exploration of changes in the regulatory environment and a brief review of economic policy. The study has adopted an interactive course by collecting most information directly from member countries and validating it through several rounds of reviews.