chapter  13
14 Pages

Labor

WithFarida Chowdhury Khan

This chapter considers the state of rural employment, rural–urban migration for jobs, and the growing informal sector in urban and peri-urban areas. The urban wage rate, measured as the wage rate of unskilled construction workers in major cities, is the most significant variable in explaining the dynamics of agricultural wages. A characteristic of Bangladesh has traditionally been that there are marked seasonal variations in agricultural production and in the demand for labor. The effect of microcredit has been shown to lower the supply of labor for agriculture with a move to sharecropping. The participation of women as agricultural workers has always been low and continues to remain so, particularly given the option to be self-employed with the availability of microcredit loans. The chapter looks at changes in employment and the nature of work within the country. Meeting the objective of employment generation may require a concerted multi-sectoral approach, focusing on both saving resources and preserving them.