The growth trajectory of the Bangladesh economy has been nothing if not admirable.
But it is a fact that a higher GDP does not always translate into job creation, and we are now faced with a sluggish job growth rate at this critical juncture of our development.
A World Bank report lays out the facts: In spite of a projected 6.4% GDP growth in the current fiscal year, we lag behind when it comes to job creation, which has been slowed down by factors like stagnant private investment, weaker export growth, and a decline in remittance figures.
We need our economic growth to be reflected in the job market, with more and more people being put to work and the overall standard of living rising.
Sadly, this has not been the case, as even ready-made garment factories have seen a decline in job-creation numbers, as well as a decline in the participation of women.
This does not bode well -- a country can only lift millions out of poverty and improve lives of low and middle income people by making better and more employment opportunities available across all sectors.
Bangladesh must now focus on creating jobs through better urban planning, structural reform, and technological advances, but it would also be wise for the government to ensure that there is no tolerance for corruption -- that businesses can easily establish themselves and grow in a climate where investment thrives.
Some 2 million young people enter the workforce every year, hungry for jobs. By ensuring employment prospects for them all, we safeguard the country’s future.
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