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Maldivian labor market : spotlight on youth, tourism, and fisheries - analysis based on census 2014 data (Inglês)

Over the past 30 years, Maldives has successfully built on its extraordinary natural assets to promote growth and socio-economic development. Maldives shares many of the Small Island Developing States development challenges, such as: a small domestic market; a narrow and fragile resource base; a shortage of skilled manpower; difficult inter-island transport and communication; high cost of social and economic infrastructure provision; and heavy dependence on external trade and vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters. However, in the case of Maldives, these challenges are compounded by its high geographic dispersion of 199 inhabited islands grouped in 26 atolls with a local population of 344,0003, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers. Maldives’ unique archipelagic coral island provides the country with an extremely rich and diverse marine ecological system. With more territorial sea than land, marine resources have played a vital role shaping the contours of economic development, with nature-based tourism being the key driver of economic growth (tourism accounts for about a third of the country’s GDP) and fisheries an important sector of employment for the local population (World Bank, 2015). The Maldivian labor market encounters important challenges in productively employing a better educated young labor force. Even though Maldives has sustained high levels of growth and labor market conditions have improved slightly over time, with an increase in labor market participation and employment, important challenges for the Maldivian labor market remain. These challenges are: (i) a stronger labor market inclusion and productive employment for youth; and (ii) important sectors for growth and employment generation are reliant on foreign labor and do not provide opportunities for women. This note attempts to unpack the challenges young Maldivians face in the labor market and to investigate constraints and opportunities for job creation in the tourism and fisheries sectors.

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