Monday, January 31, 2011

Civil Unrest and Employment to Population Ratios

The civil unrest now unfolding in Egypt and Tunisia causes one to ponder causes. One indicator that may be a starting point for analysis is the employment to population ratios of these countries. The chart below provides a ranking of countries in accordance with their employment to population ratios.


Countries with employment to population ratios below 50.0% appear to be more susceptable to civil unrest, though the statistics above are insufficient to conclude causation. Many economists believe that a nation's employment to population ratio provides a more reliable indication of macroeconomic health than the unemployment rate given the confusion surrounding the definition of "unemployment" in the public domain.

Source: United Nations

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how accurate those UN numbers are. I would have to question that.

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Hi Anonymous, I agree that the UN methodology has to be considered -- follow the source link in the article to learn more about UN statistics and data sources...

Anonymous said...

Also you would want to look at the % of those jobs that have a living wage. Egypt had high unemployment plus wages had stagnated or gone lower because of privatization. Working your behind off and still not having enough money for the basics plus some savings can really piss people off especially when they see a smaller class of citizens with an abundance.

That would put China much lower on your graph.

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Hi Anonymous, I suppost that the living wage standard would also apply equally to many in the US and other countries, so I am not sure we have the liberty to judge China so harshly -- for definitions of employment and populations, see my previous post at:

http://wjmc.blogspot.com/2011/01/us-emploment-to-population-ratio.html

Thank you for your comments...

Matt said...

I foresee civil unrest here in the states at some point in the next 20 years. Lack of jobs for millions of American's will no doubt be a cause for this. Sure, America will be a leader in innovative technology as always but with those "green jobs" that Obama speaks so highly about it will also require people to have degrees and certain level of competence to do them which leaves out a great deal of people. So it's not really practical and I hope that America can prevail.

Civil Jobs in Chennai said...

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