April 21, 2017

World Bank: How can we create decent and worthy unemployments to help face a worldwide structural lack of jobs?

Sir, Kristalina Georgieva, writes about the needs for jobs, the difficulties involved with creating these jobs, everywhere, and of how the World Bank is trying to help. “Job insecurity is a fact of life for young people” April 22.

That is all very commendable but what I truly miss, for instance during the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF, is a discussion, long overdue, about what to do if sufficient jobs are nowhere to be found.

The very real possibility of hundred of millions of young people soon facing the prospects of a lifelong lack of employment, perhaps only eased by some few temporary gigs, is a monstrous social challenge, that must be tackled in time.

For instance if in order to create jobs, we invest so much that there is little left over for taking care of if we fail to do so, then perhaps our problems could compound.

And I am of course not talking about the normal set of social safety nets to take care of a temporary lack of jobs, but of much more fundamental measures… like perhaps the need of a well funded universal basic income paid out to all.

Education is of utmost importance for creating jobs, but business as usual will not suffice. For instance some of the remuneration of teachers and professors need to be contingent on how it goes for the students. The current way of loading up university students with debt, that has to be repaid no matter what, basically in order to pay professors great salaries up front, smells a lot like a scam… or like bankers’ bonuses based on short-term results.

PS. Had the issue of how robots and automation is impacting the job market been raised earlier, we would perhaps not have to be listening to useless Wall construction proposals.