On the evolution of employment structure in developing countries
This paper explores the idea of “employment” from two related angles. First, it examines, for the non-transition developing world, trends in the structure of employment in terms of sectors where employment obtains, and sub-categories of types of employment. Second, it examines employment from an income perspective. The paper shows that the process of change in employment structure in the last decades of the twentieth century in the developing world has been varied. However, despite the regional variation, the expectation of an increased preponderance of wage labour over time is valid, and in particular in the commerce and manufacturing sectors. The decline in unpaid family work is also a significant phenomenon in the developing world, particularly with respect to agriculture, which is in accordance with broad expectations. On the other hand, it is also found that employment growth is not led by manufacturing but by commerce, a sector which shows parallel growth tendencies of both increased wage work and family labour. The illustrations of broad changes in income-employment, which are for only the last decade of the twentieth century, suggest that the developing world has seen only a modest decline in the both the absolute and relative measures of working poor, especially the worst off working poor; and it has importantly seen a much more significant gain in the absolute and relative size of the working non-poor.
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