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Brunei's labour force expected to slow down in coming years

Publication Date : 22-01-2014


The growth in Brunei’s labour force is expected to slow down in the next five years, a report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows.

In the "Global Employment Trends 2014: The Risk of a Jobless Recovery", the ILO forecasts Brunei’s labour force annual growth rates to be at 1.46 per cent between 2015 to 2020, slower than the 1.88 per cent between 2010 to 2014.

Brunei joins Asean member countries that will see a slowdown in projected labour growth.

The report said that the labour force growth for Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines will continue to grow relatively rapidly at above 1.5 per cent per year, while countries such as Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will face a notable slowdown in labour force growth to less than 1 per cent per year.

“Such disparity in labour force growth and diverse employment opportunities within the region, in addition to considerable income differences, among others, leads to both push and pull factors for workers to move across borders,” the ILO said in the report.

The report added that improved labour market information systems, a cross-country skills recognition framework and job placement mechanisms at country and regional levels would benefit both the economies and the workers within the Asean sub-region.

The report also revealed that the region faced high risks of natural disasters, which in turn pose risks on sustaining livelihoods and employment.

In 2012, almost half of the 15 most risk-prone countries in the world were found in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, the report said.

“This poses additional challenges of being prepared at the policy, institutional, community and individual levels to cope with the livelihood consequences during and after the natural disasters,” the report said.

The 2014 Global Employment Trends report offers the latest global and regional information and projections based on several indicators within the labour market, including employment, unemployment, working poverty and vulnerable employment.

The study said that global unemployment rates continue to rise despite modest growth in the world economy, with about 202 million people worldwide reportedly unemployed in 2013, an increase of close to five million from 2012.

In Southeast Asia and the Pacific, economic and labour market developments face considerable risks from the faltering global economy, the report added.

The ILO in the report said the Asean Economic Community 2015 will present both opportunities and challenges for member countries in terms of growth prospects across different sectors, shifting trade patterns, the need to nurture comparative advantage within each country, skills mismatches and their implications for the labour market.

“In particular, a freer flow of labour is envisioned within the Asean community, signalling both new opportunities and challenges for jobseekers,” the report said.


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