How Fewer People in Poverty Creates More Jobs

Fewer people in poverty creates more jobs by spurring economic growth and instigating human development. Strategic solutions for combating poverty, including education and increasing labor demand for industries, help to develop employment opportunities for developing countries.

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to cut the absolute poverty rate to 9 percent by 2020 and 3 percent by 2030. The SDGs include supporting quality education, good health, well-being, self-sufficiency and quality environments for countries to thrive.

Having fewer people in poverty create more jobs as the economy grows and generates a higher demand for labor. The Department for International Development (DFID) states, “Strong growth in the global economy over the past ten years means that the majority of the world’s working-age population is now in employment.”

However, youth unemployment is a major issue across the world. DFID finds that children comprise up to 25 percent of the working population but 47 percent of the unemployed. Employment opportunities encourage families to send their children to school to better their futures and avoid poverty later in life.

Fewer people in poverty creates more jobs through greater levels of education. With educational opportunities available to learn business skills, people not only make themselves marketable for employment but use their newly developed skill sets as entrepreneurs. As more people work, they fulfill labor demands and increase the consumer base, stimulating the economy.

DFID claims education promotes the number of entrepreneurs in poverty-stricken regions. USAID also states that entrepreneurs are critical to fueling the economy and creating jobs. Both of these factors contribute to ending extreme poverty.

USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative brings private capital to early-stage entrepreneurs and makes investing easier. PACE’s 40 incubators, accelerators, and investors address obstacles entrepreneurs face to grow businesses, create jobs and improve access to goods and services for underserved populations. According to USAID, 78 percent of employment in low-income countries comes from small and medium enterprises.

USAID also facilitates training and placement centers for 100,000 Pakistanis, at least half of whom are women. Najeeb Ahmed participated in 2010 and learned to weld at age 30 under an experienced ironworker.  This skillset allowed him to provide a comfortable life for his family of six. By cultivating job opportunities in emerging sectors (i.e. food processing, construction, educational and health services and jewelry), USAID helps Pakistani families such as Ahmed’s to escape poverty.  With education programs offering job skill training and resources, individuals can improve their quality of living.

Nonprofit organization Sorenson / Unitus Ultra Poor Initiative recognizes that loans are not enough to help the impoverished of India outside of meeting their most basic food and healthcare needs. The nonprofit works with Indian NGOs to create opportunities for the countries poor which allow them to earn a stable income and pay for their food, healthcare, and other services.

Creating conditions that foster education and opportunities for self-sufficiency help mobilize the poor to achieve financial stability as well as human development. Economic growth is key to alleviating poverty, even for individuals residing in the most impoverished areas. Fewer people in poverty creates more jobs, giving greater opportunities for citizens and countries to thrive.

– Sarah Dunlap

Photo: Flickr