Why Globalization Succeeds When the Workforce is Young ?

In a previous article, we looked at how globalization benefits the young more than the elderly. This article looks at how a youthful workforce is necessary for globalization to succeed. The reason for this is that when the majority of the workforce is young, there is more number of people who are competing for the available jobs and this increases the bargaining power of employers since they can dictate the terms on which the person has to be hired. Of course, there is the aspect of employability where not all graduates are employable and hence, some of the advantage of a youthful workforce is negated. However, even in this scenario, employers stand to gain as they can get more orders and business from their clients simply because they can fill the available jobs choosing from a wide enough labor pool.

The first aspect discussed above affects the manufacturing sector where there is an abundance of the labor pool and the second aspect affects the service sector where the IT and BPO companies have grown exponentially since they could get as much business as they want and employ at will because of availability of graduates with the right skills.

Moreover, it is easy to train the young in the latest skills and techniques rather than the middle aged as the youthful vigor makes it possible for these young graduates to pick up new skills easily.

Further, most of the young graduates have grown up in the digital generation meaning that all of them have basic computer skills and English speaking skills which is much sought after by employers in a global economy. This explains the success of India in attracting more capital in the services sector as opposed to China or the Philippines.

The other reason why globalization succeeds when the workforce is young because global companies would invest in countries where they have consumers who are willing to purchase their products. It is a truism in economics that the elderly do not spend and it is only the young and the thirty something’s who go on spending binges. Hence, it makes sense for multinationals to set up base in countries where there is more potential for growth rather than in countries that have ageing populations. This is called the demographic dividend, which means that countries that have youthful workforces are more likely to benefit from globalization and conversely, globalization gains in the process as well.

Finally, a young and energetic workforce makes for labor pool flexibility and transferability of skills. This happens where the members of the workforce can change jobs and become employed in other sectors different from their education orientation and can also transfer skills across sectors easily. In case of the West, the outcry over outsourcing has primarily been because of the fact that the workers who lost their jobs there could not find other jobs involving different skills as well as transfer their skills across sectors.

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