More than 935 million workers in the world have jobs that don’t match their educational level: 72% of them (677 million) are under-educated for their jobs, while the remaining 28% (258 million) are over-educated, says a new International Labour Organization study.
This new data in ILOSTAT covers 114 countries, which means that the actual global figures are probably much higher.
The ILO report said that the level of education required in a job does not always match workers’ level of education, noting that oftentimes workers are either over-educated or under-educated for their jobs.
The report explained that ILOSTAT now has data on the mismatch between workers’ level of education and the expected level of education for each job (based on the job’s occupational group) for 114 countries from all regions and income levels.
In 46% of those countries, over half of all workers have jobs that don’t match their educational level.
The world body explained that, “These are not global estimates, but figures covering the 114 countries with data (which represented 56% of global employment in 2018), meaning that the actual number of under- and over-educated workers in the world is probably much higher.”
“This means that mismatch by educational level is a big issue, and it is widespread.”
It added that under-education is more common and more serious in low-income countries than elsewhere, while over-education is more prevalent in high-income countries.
“The ten countries with the highest share of workers in mismatch by educational level are all either low income or lower-middle income.
Under-education and over-education coexist.
“In all countries there are workers who are under-educated and workers who are over-educated for the jobs they hold. However, in the majority (74%) of countries with data, the share of under-educated workers is higher than that of over-educated workers.”
The report said under-education is clearly an issue in developing countries (although not exclusively), but in all the low-income countries with data, under-education is more prevalent than over-education.
It however added that, this was true in only half of high-income countries with data.