Riyadh, December 14, 2023, The Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Gilbert F. Houngbo, highlighted the crucial importance of intensifying efforts to address the intricate challenges and transformations facing the labor market. His remarks were part of a discussion panel on the promising future of the labor market during the Global Labor Market Conference in Riyadh.
Houngbo emphasized the significance of empowering the younger generation, stating that young people are not only beneficiaries in the labor market but also active partners who contribute to change and innovation. He stressed the responsibility to provide young men and women in the Arab region with the tools and opportunities needed for a prosperous future while ensuring social justice.
The ILO Director-General noted that the current challenges are compounded by climate change, rapid technological advancements, demographic shifts, and geopolitical tensions. He highlighted the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the workforce and stressed the importance of enabling young people to adapt and innovate in the face of these changes.
Houngbo acknowledged the potential impact of AI on wages and job creation, emphasizing the need to explore opportunities in the digital economy. He presented statistics indicating that achieving global coverage of the world's labor markets by 2030 would require the creation of 24 million jobs. This necessitates investment in global infrastructure, with a central focus on fostering a culture of lifelong learning.
The ILO Director-General also underscored the potential for job creation in the digital and green economies, stating that the green economy alone could provide over 8 million jobs by 2030. However, he emphasized that achieving these goals requires clear political will and coordination among stakeholders. The conference serves as a platform to address these challenges and discuss strategies for creating a more promising and sustainable future for the global labor market.