Rise of middle-class jobs in the developing world could spur growth: ILO

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The number of middle-class workers in the developing world has risen sharply over the past decade, potentially creating a much-needed boost to future growth and consumption in these economies.

New figures in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Global Employment Trends 2013 show that 42 per cent of workers in developing countries –nearly 1.1 billion workers–are now "middle-class," living with their families on more than US$4 per person per day. ILO says the rise is particularly marked in East Asia.

Since 2001, an additional 400 million workers have joined the ranks of the middle- class, with their incomes sufficient for their families to consume between US$4 and $13 a day per person. This is a doubling of the number of workers in the emerging middle class. A further 186 million workers are now living on more than $13 a day.

By 2017, the ILO estimates that an additional 390 million workers in the developing world could be middle-class.

Steven Kapsos is one of the authors of the report. He says "Over time, this emerging middle-class could give a much needed push to more balanced global growth by boosting consumption, particularly in poorer parts of the developing world."

Kapsos explains that middle-class workers can invest more in health and education, leading to healthier and more productive lives. In turn, this means higher productivity and faster economic development.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’20″

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