Friday, May 02, 2008

Labour day : Time for a reflection (I)

What is the meaning of labour day , in the XXI century?: Well, perhaps May the 1st, means much more today than it has been usual to think about . Globalization has been mainly driven by capital accumulation, which seek lower cost to get higher capital return. The economic foundation of the globalization process is quite clear ,as it is the fact that the necessary complementary labour skills have also changed. More and better qualified skill, are necessary to get a better share of global income growth. The problem is that these skills do not increase at the same pace, to improve labour share, as it does capital productivity in production process. On the other side, lower skills, imply lower labour productivity and lower wage.
The overall picture looks worrisome. The Global Policy Forum and its key indicators of the labour market (KILM- 2005) says that :“half the world´s workers still do not earn enough to lift themselves and their families above the U$$ 2 a day poverty line”. Besides the report says for million of workers, new jobs often provide barely enough income to lift them above poverty line, or are far below any adequate measure of satisfying and productive work. In fact ,almost 50% of global employment (1,38 billion people),down from 57% in 1994 ,live on less than U$$2 a day. This means that although employment might increase, the quality of those new jobs is far below the acceptable. Low productivity Women and men, are working long and hard, for very little because their only alternative is to have no income at all (KILM report 2005).-
Employment and economic growth relationship, has also changed to reflect what it looks like to be, the capital intensive nature of globalization. For every percentage point of additional GDP growth, total global employment has grown by only 0,30 percentage point between 1999 and 2003,a drop from 0,38 percentage points between 1995 -1999. Moreover between 1990-2000,wages increased globally faster in high skilled occupations, than in low-skilled occupations . Therefore the challenge of our time, is to solve the productivity gap, which arise among others reasons, because lack of good education, centralized state which creates a culture based on social assistance, rather than individual effort, which deteriorates the key potential for growth, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.-