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Jakarta Post

Celebrating catastrophic surplus of labor?

  • Muhtar Habibi
    Muhtar Habibi

    PhD student in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

London   /   Mon, March 6, 2017   /  02:46 pm
Celebrating catastrophic surplus of labor? Two workers of precast concrete maker PT Wijaya Karya Beton checks the company products at its factory in Cileungsi, Bogor, West Java . (Antara/M Agung Rajasa)

The so-called demographic bonus has been in the spotlight of public discourse for the last few years. Last week, however, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo stated a rather careful caveat regarding the coming decade of the demographic bonus (2020 to 2030). Noting that 70 percent of the total workforce would be of the productive age of between 16 and 64 years. President Jokowi accentuated the urgent need to improve human resources through widening access to education for all, covered by state-sponsored scholarships. Without such improvement, he warned, the demographic bonus would be a boomerang for our nation. But is this an adequate policy to prevent such a cataclysmic outcome? In 2013, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that about 62 percent of the total workforce was precarious. Casual workers, unpaid family laborers and self-employed workers join the ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.