7 Jul 2014

ADB predicts more challenges for Pacific job growth

2:41 pm on 7 July 2014

The Asian Development Bank says Pacific nations continue to face the challenge of creating more jobs for a growing working-age population.

The bank latest Pacific Economic Monitor says the region's working-age population is projected to increase from 6.6 million to 9.6 million by 2030.

But it also says only about a third of new workforce entrants in the region can expect to find employment unless the Pacific bucks current trends.

One of its authors, Christopher Edmonds, who is a senior economist for the bank, says Pacific leaders need to focus on job-creation and developing niche markets.

"National development will have to be the principal focus on efforts to generate new jobs and then you can look at sort of where the opportunities are for job creation and you look at things like niche agriculture or tourism, you know, it depends country to country, but those are two main areas where you can see the potential to create more jobs."

Christopher Edmonds says Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both bucked the trend and demonstrated some growth.