Investing in the Care Economy

Date Posted: Friday 20th January 2017

A 2017 report by WBG for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and UN Women.

InvestmentSocial CareSocial Infrastructure

Investing in the Care Economy: Simulating employment effects by gender in countries in emerging economies (January 2017)


Read / download the full report here.

A report by the UK Women’s Budget Group for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and UN Women shows that increasing public investment in emerging economies would boost employment and contribute to economic growth and, depending on the form and location of the investment, contribute to enhancing human development and realising some of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Key findings are:


  • If 2% of GDP were invested in the health and care sector, it would generate increases in overall employment ranging from 1.2% to 3.2%, depending on the country. This would mean that nearly 24 million new jobs would be created in China, 11 million in India, nearly 2.8 million in Indonesia, 4.2 million in Brazil, just over 400,000 in South Africa and 63,000 in Costa Rica
  • A similar level of investment in construction would also generate a substantial number of new jobs, with the in- crease in overall employment ranging between 1.3% and 2.6% depending on country variables. This equates to nearly 18 million new jobs in China, 13.5 mil- lion in India, 3.4 million in Brazil, 2.1 million in Indonesia, 511,000 in South Africa and 62,000 in Costa Rica
  • Overall, across all the countries in this study, the direct effect of public investment in the health and care sector would lead to a greater number of the newly created jobs going to women than if the same level of investment were made in construction.
  • However, apart from Brazil and China where, respectively, 56.8% and 51.5% of all the jobs created from investing in health and care go to women, the majority of jobs created would still go to men.



Read the first report – Investing in the Care Economy: A gender analysis of employment stimulus in seven OECD countries (March 2016) here.