Globalisation and Unemployment: Two Coins of Different Sides

Omolola Lipede
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Among the most significant issues affecting the well-being of most countries are the implications of economic globalisation for employment policies. Globalisation can have both negative and positive impacts on a country. Globalisation and unemployment are two phenomena which are amongst the most widely discussed issue in economics world today. Globalisation is the process of interface and integration between people, companies and government worldwide. It can also be viewed as the involvement of goods, services and the economic resource of capital, technology and data. It has grown due to advances in transportation and communication technology. The wide spread of globalisation comes with development in international trade, ides and culture.

In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) acknowledged four basic aspects of globalisation: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people and the dissemination of knowledge. Most times, globalisation is perceived as the factor responsible for increase in unemployment. More so, it is widely believed that globalisation could lead to unemployment and injustice, as well as to imposing cuts on social programmes and leaving unprotected an increasing number of people.

Overtime, globalisation has helped developing countries deal with the increasing economic developed in the rest of the world. It has led to more developed countries investing in developing countries, however, it has had a negative impact in Africa. In 2004, World Bank disclosed that globalisation has led to more than 85% of the World’s population to live for at least 60years. With such report, it shows the improvement in human capital but this same ‘philanthropist’ in a way leads to unemployment, increase in inequality etc.

Unemployment and poverty in most African countries have been on the increase despite the foreign aids. United Nation attributed the economic woes to: deterioration of trade, foreign debt, declining official development assistance levels and the negative effects of globalisation. Globalisation ought to be the vehicle of prosperity, help decrease the rate of poverty and unemployment in several economies. Globalisation is seen as a way to overcome the limitations that come from religions, political parties and cultures that are locked in their own mentality. However, despite these promising positive effects on globalisation on countries, it has increased impoverishment and call has been made to international community to adopt measures to counter backlashes.

Read Also: The Interface between Youth Unemployment and Labour Productivity

Globalisation of the economy is certainly very profitable for some privileged groups. But the interests of these groups cannot be identified with those of the whole of humanity. Hasty and anarchic globalisation can only cause unemployment, injustice, disorder, instability everywhere and in the end will inevitably be disadvantage for the whole of mankind. It is not inevitable, necessary or desirable. It would be conceivable only if it were preceded by world political unity, comparable development of different economies and the establishment of an appropriate world institutional and ethnical framework, conditions that obviously are not and cannot be currently met (Allais, 1999).

According to recent researches, unemployment in most economies is as a result of real salaries that are too high and insufficiently flexible, of the speed of technological progress in the information and transport sectors and of monetary policy that is restrictive. Allais (1999) opined that developing countries opening up to the outside world was a necessary condition for progress and the proof of this was the extremely rapid progress of emerging countries in Southeast Asia.

The emergence of globalisation led to a change in the structure of labour demand towards higher skills requirements of firms and not an overall reduction of labour demand at a given real wage. The inter-trade industry and the faster dissemination of knowledge have got the appealing property of linking the process of globalisation to unemployment issue in the continent.

Finally, opinions have seen globalisation as the woe of economies, stating it affected unemployment by moving the job patterns, wages disparities, immigration of labour from developing to developed countries. On the flip side, globalisation enhances the growth of international market, financial flows across countries, so, how could a promising experience translate to unemployment and underemployment? Globalisation has been thought as a tool, depending on how a country uses the tool or how often or even the ways it is used.

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