Working Today for a Better Tomorrow in Ethiopia: Jobs for Poor and Vulnerable Households

Ethiopia has long prioritized creating more and better jobs as core to its sustainable and inclusive development. However, steady growth in the gross domestic product and gains in agricultural productivity in recent decades have not translated into better opportunities nor increased earnings for much of the population. The 2021 Labor Force Survey data reveal labor trends since 1999 and underscore these realities. Moreover, COVID-19 and other shocks have reinforced the disconnect between positive macroeconomic trends at national level and stagnant incomes at the household level. "Working Today for a Better Tomorrow in Ethiopia: Jobs for Poor and Vulnerable Households" outlines how Ethiopia can leverage its social safety net programs to help poor and vulnerable workers earn more in today’s labor market. The government’s latest development planning policies focus on private sector growth and structural transformation to create more and better jobs. While these long-term reforms take hold, the jobs agenda also must include near-term measures to improve worker productivity in and connect people to jobs that already exist. Complementing cash transfers with capital, training, and other services can help workers earn more in their current work, diversify into new types of employment, or connect to available wage jobs. These investments can have an immediate impact for poor people in Ethiopia while also contributing to sustainable and inclusive development.