A discussion on the global labour market must be commenced with a presentation of the
demographic trends. Over the past fifty years, demographic factors had a significant influence
on labour markets, and these changes will go even further in the next fifty years. Since the
labour market is becoming ever more global, the demographic changes will be increasingly
influential on local labour markets. According to UN estimates3, Europe’s population in 1950
was 547 million, in 2005 ― 728 million, and is bound to decrease to 653 million in 2050,
under the assumption that the present trends, including migrations, do not change
significantly. It is estimated that over the next 45 years, when the European population drops
by 75 million, the Asian population will grow by 1.3 billion, and the African population ― by
over a billion.
According to this data: In my opinion, there are three vital and far-reaching conclusions to
be drawn. Firstly, the Asian population will account for over a half of the world’s population,
and if the economic growth continues to significantly exceed the growth dynamics in the US
and Europe, Asia will become the world’s economic centre.
Secondly, the share of Europe in the world’s population will decrease threefold over a
hundred years, i.e. in the period from 1950 to 2050. This means that if the Old Continent
does not respond appropriately to the globalization challenges, in a few dozen years, all
major global decisions will be made outside Europe, especially if the integration tendencies
are continued in Asia, including the possible adoption of a single currency, which may be
tentatively called the “asian”.4
Thirdly, the share of Africa in the world’s population will be a mirror image of the
European trends and will increase almost threefold. It is still a very poor continent, of an
unfavourable climate and poorly qualified workforce. However, in my opinion, the African
countries will join the process of globalization in the manufacturing and services sectors sooner than it is expected, and some countries of the African continent may experience a very high economic growth rate in the decades to come, if their key political decision-makers take the chance that the globalization process gives.