SESRIC launched the OIC Labour Market Report 2017 during the 4th Islamic Conference of Labour Ministers, which was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during 21-22 February 2018. The main highlights of the report were presented by HE Amb. Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC, during the conference.
The Report analyses the current state of the labour market in OIC countries and discusses some important aspects of labour market policy and developments.
The 2017 Edition of the OIC Labour Market Report gives a special attention to the problem of labour inactivity and policies to promote economic activity for special target groups. These include problem of labour market inactivity, labour market policies for reducing unemployment, employment of persons with disabilities and economic reintegration of ex-offenders and displaced people.
According to the Report, the total unemployment rate in OIC countries is estimated at 7.4% in 2016. It is also found that labour force participation rate, the employment to population ratio, share of employment in the services sector, share of the labour force with tertiary education are lower, but female unemployment rate, share of vulnerable employment, share of employment in agriculture, inactivity rate, and share of labour force primary education are higher in OIC countries compared to non-OIC developing and developed countries.
Moreover, the Report reveals that when compared with other country groups, labour force inactivity remains stubbornly high in the group of OIC countries. “In order to facilitate the transition of inactive people towards the labour market, policy makers need to recognize and understand the diverse, complex and deep-rooted nature of economic inactivity and accordingly design the appropriate needed interventions. These typically include employment services and programmes that aim to enhance the capabilities of job seekers as well as measures to extend the set of job opportunities that job seekers can access. Since such interventions are costly and time-consuming, it is essential to conduct regular impact assessments and share the experiences within as well as across the countries,” the report says.
Furthermore, the report underlines that while addressing the major issues and challenges of economic participation, policy makers should also give special attention to specific issues related to specific target groups.
“OIC member countries host millions of persons with disabilities who are in urgent need of education, training and skills development to be able to participate in the labour market. The economic and social integration of ex-offenders and displaced people is also another challenge in many OIC countries.”
The 4th Islamic Conference of Labour Ministers, which was jointly organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development of Saudi Arabia under the theme: “Developing a Common Strategy for Manpower Development,” had also at the top of the agenda the mapping out of the OIC Labour Market Strategy, prepared by SESRIC.
The Strategy outlines the main objectives and focus areas of intra-OIC cooperation, such as enhancing employability; protecting the worker’s safety and well-being; promoting labour productivity; and reducing unemployment, among other things.
The OIC countries have a total labour force amounting to almost 800 million people, and since its inception, the OIC has striven to enhance technical and manpower cooperation among its member states, in order to build a better quality of life, to promote productive employment, and to create adequate social protection for OIC citizens.
Furthermore, the conference discussed the execution of the Youth Employment Support (YES) Programme, which aims at supporting operations that can lead to employment generation and building capacity for skill adjustment for the job market.
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