Asia’s working poor

Miranda Kennedy Sep 4, 2006
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Asia’s working poor

Miranda Kennedy Sep 4, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Even though a lot of Asia’s economies are growing at almost breakneck speed, those countries aren’t creating that many jobs. More than 600 million people in Asia still live on less than $1 a day. Miranda Kennedy tells us about a new report from the International Labor Organization.


MIRANDA KENNEDY: Economic growth in China and India has drastically reduced the number of people who live on $1 a day. But it hasn’t happened fast enough, says the ILO.

Asia is still home to 75% of the world’s poor. That’s partly because the region’s population is growing faster than its economy.

Sukti Dasgupta, with the ILO, Asia needs to create more jobs and better paid ones.

SUKTI DASGUPTA: The main route out of poverty is productive employment generation. Because the problem in Asia is not only that of unemployment, but the main problem is that of underemployment or the working poor.

So the problem isn’t just the quantity of jobs. It’s also the quality of jobs in Asia. That means ensuring that people are compensated fairly for their long hours of labor.

The ILO says Asia has to create 250 million well paid jobs over the next decade, if it’s going to lift itself out of poverty.

In New Delhi, I’m Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.

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