Jobs, Africa, and the shift towards services

Source: VoxEU CEPR

“The servicification of economic activity occurring across Africa has implications for the continent’s future. Using per capita nightlight luminosity as a proxy for economic development, this column finds a strong positive association between higher-skill services and economic growth that varies according to geography, institutions, technology, and market conditions. Data on the structure of employment in African economies reveal significant shifts in the composition of employment towards services across and within countries, and towards growth in service-related occupations across all sectors of the economy.”

The authors present new data on the composition of jobs in the services sector at the sub-national level in a sample of 13 African countries, describe how this has changed over time, and explain how employment in services correlates with indicators of economic development commonly used in the literature. Throughout their sample, they find that the share of agriculture in total employment declined through the decades but was offset by an equivalent increase in the share of services. They go on to dig deeper into aspects like characteristics of service sector employees and differing capacities of different services in supporting workers’ productivity.

Posted by at 11:09 AM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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