Kazakhstan should help vulnerable people find better quality jobs


13-07-2017– Kazakhstan’s strong economic growth since the 2000s has helped the country sharply improve people’s living standards, reduce poverty and income inequalities, and boost employment. Kazakhstan should now focus on improving employment opportunities for vulnerable people.


Building Inclusive Labour Markets in Kazakhstan discusses the key employment challenges for vulnerable groups with a focus on youth, older workers, and people with disabilities.


The report, presented in Astana by OECD Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, Stefano Scarpetta and the Republic of Kazakhastan’s Vice Minister of Labour and Social Protection Birzhan Nuryembetov, identifies priority areas for reforming labour markets and boosting social outcomes for these three groups.


“Looking forward, Kazakhstan is aiming to promote economic diversification and in order to achieve this it will need to continue building inclusive labour markets that help vulnerable groups to access productive employment opportunities.” Mr Scarpetta said.


The report says that the labour market remains unequal, with sizeable regional disparities, and a large share of low-paid jobs. A well-functioning labour market with an effective safety net will be essential to spur better quality jobs, as will strengthening the role played by active labour market policies and investing in skills, according to the report.


The  main challenge for Kazakhstani youth is not the lack of jobs but the lack of opportunities to access good quality jobs and rewarding career prospects in the formal sector.


Older workers withdraw from the labour market earlier than their peers elsewhere, including in OECD countries. This reflects the fact that the retirement age is low, while there is still much that can be done to raise financial incentives to continue working after retirement. Rapid withdrawal from the labour market may also reflect that the health status of older workers’, especially for men, deteriorates rapidly.


People with disabilities are also struggling to integrate the labour market. Despite the fact that most people with disabilities have remaining work capacities, very few are actually employed. Even those with a job are often underemployed, and are likely to have unstable jobs.


Fostering inclusiveness and well-being will require a range of labour market reforms to improve outcomes and ensure better service delivery, the report says, with the following priorities cutting across the three groups:  


  • Step-up efforts in areas where they are currently insufficient, such as the Public Employment Service whose capacity to help jobseekers seize good employment opportunities should be enhanced.
  • Engage in a systematic and independent evaluation of employment measures, notably Active Labour Market Programmes, to identify best practices and channel resources to the most effective interventions.
  • Provide more adequate social protection to those who need it and address gaps in income security during old age.
  • Expand efforts to combat informality and strengthen compliance with labour regulations. 


For further information, please contact Stefano Scarpetta, Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (+33 1 4524 1988) or Alessandro Goglio, Senior Policy Analyst (+33 1 4524 7571).


Related Documents