Global population numbers are on track to reach 7 billion in 2011, just 12 years after reaching 6 billion in 1999. Virtually all of the growth is in developing countries.
And the growth of the world’s youth population (ages 15 to 24) is shifting into the poorest of those countries.
The new Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet, offers detailed information about country, regional, and global population patterns.
In the context of CSR, I find it interesting that we talk a lot about the environment and its connections with growth and we discuss at length the use (and abuse) of natural resources and links to climate change.
Yet, one of the major challenges that businesses could play a role in relates to birth control and population management.
According to the report only 41% of South Africans aged 16 to 64 have any kind of a job, while in China the figure is 70% and in high-growth developing nations like Indonesia and Brazil is around 65%.
The research behind the report found that South Africa’s stringent labour market regulations made it expensive to employ people and that mostly skilled and experienced people were employed. Thus the country is sinking deeper into unemployment. The report calls for allowing young, unskilled and inexperienced people to be employed at lower wages, something current labour legislation prohibits, while labour costs were driving up unemployment.
And, Richard Pike, CEO of one of South Africa’s biggest employment services groups, Adcorp, says militant trade union activism is one of the major contributing factors to South Africa’s high unemployment rates. He also defended the contract employment of 3.9 million workers, saying rising contract employment was not unique to South Africa.