The World of Work

woman business owner smiling

Employment, entrepreneurship and job creation principles and strategies

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Jobs. From Africa to the Middle East and across the Americas, adults and youth alike are searching for meaningful work and a decent income.

Global unemployment figures are staggering with rates reaching as high as 50% in countries like Yemen. Particularly for those in the developing world, and especially for youth and women, the prospects of finding steady, equitable, and productive work are severely limited or are accessible by only a small portion of the population. In 2012, close to 75 million youth worldwide were unemployed. In that same year, a total of 621 million youth were not involved in education, employment or training.

Over the past few years, economic inequality and inadequate job opportunities have fomented tensions across the globe, spurring movements such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. Although governments and the international development community have responded to the jobs challenge in various ways, what most agree on is this: Unemployment is a critical issue in developed and developing countries alike. Failure to address these issues now will impact the global economy for years to come.

Mercy Corps views the employment challenge as an opportunity rather than a crisis. Our Theories of Change and strategies on the world of work reflect the importance of finding local, sustainable solutions to widespread unemployment and promoting efficient and effective labor market systems rather than short-term interventions.