Better Figures on Labour Force Trends Help Asia-Pacific to Avert Jobless Growth

Rising labour productivity has been a main driver of economic growth in Asia and the Pacific. The region contributed to 60 per cent of the global growth in labour productivity since 1995. But there has been no comparable growth in employment. As a consequence, unemployment and international labour migration are two of the most pressing issues facing many Asian-Pacific economies.

To help countries to better project their labour force and employment trends, and to ensure a balance between productivity and employment growth, the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) held a training course on “Labour Force and Manpower Projection” for 25 officials from six countries and territories.

The week-long course, which wrapped up today in Hong Kong, was organized in cooperation with the Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China.

The course provided the officials with skills for identifying data sources and using them effectively to make projections for national planning. They also learned about the effects of migration on the labour force. Experts from SIAP, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics and Census, and the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong SAR contributed to the course. The participants came from Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Malaysia and Singapore.

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SIAP, based in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo, is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It aims to strengthen the capability of developing countries to collect, analyze and disseminate timely and high-quality statistics by providing fellowships, training courses and workshops, and course design and materials. To date, it has trained about 11,000 people from more than 120 countries and territories.