Globalization and its Effect on the Young Workforce in Asia

Globalization is widely credited with bringing prosperity to Asian countries. Because of the opening up of the global economy and the resultant increase in opportunities for the workforce in Asian countries, there was a boom in the manufacturing and services sectors across Asia. No wonder that globalization is widely credited with lifting millions if not billions out of their underprivileged status and making them upwardly mobile.

Indeed, the best example of the way in which globalization has affected countries like China, India, and the Philippines is to look at the humungous number of jobs created because of globalization. Statistics show that the employment levels of the young and able workforces in these countries went up by nearly 30 percent. This is proof of the fact that globalization has indeed been beneficial to these countries and other countries across the developing world.

Of course, if a job is created in one country, then the corresponding job in a developed country is lost. This is the zero-sum scenario that globalization imposes on the global economy.

However, as has been discussed in previous articles, there is also the added aspect of globalization being a win-win situation because the jobs lost in the West can be compensated by hiring those who were laid off in higher value adding activities. Further, the gains in terms of costs saved by Western companies can be employed to good use in those countries. Hence, globalization proves the adage “A Rising tide lifts all boats” true. Especially the young and the able employees in the developing and the developed world have been able to reap the benefits of globalization more than the middle aged and the old since they can adapt and learn new skills quickly and in an agile manner.

To look at the beneficial effects of globalization on the young in Asia, one need not look farther than the rise in ownership of homes, consumer durables, increase in consumption that was hitherto the preserve of the rich, and finally, the creation of an young and upwardly mobile workforce. For those of you who are in the twenties and thirties, you would have seen how the increase in opportunities would have benefited you directly as opposed to those in your parents’ generation who had to contend with incomes that did not lend themselves to a consumerist lifestyle. Without getting into the debate whether consumerism is good or bad, it is important to realize that many of those in their twenties and thirties have been able to buy homes and lead comfortable lives because of their jobs in the services or the manufacturing sector. To put this in perspective, one needs to look at the age in which houses were bought in the previous generation as opposed to the age at which the present generation and those in their thirties bought houses and other goods.

Finally, countries like India that have always had an income trap have significantly benefited from globalization and when one considers the increase in job opportunities for the young workforce, it goes without saying that globalization has been a force for good for this segment.


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Globalization