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130 Int'l Lab. Rev. 459 (1991)
From Manpower Planning to Labour Market Analysis

handle is hein.journals/intlr130 and id is 475 raw text is: International Labour Review, Vol. 130, 1991, No. 4

From manpower planning to labour
market analysis
I. Introduction
he art of manpower planning is certainly in disarray. After decades of
manpower forecasting practice, it has come under repeated and
sustained criticism (see Ahamad and Blaug, 1973; Psacharopoulos, 1984;
Youdi and Hinchliffe, 1985; World Bank, 1991). Those still practising the art
might be rightly confused as to the mandate, methodology and overall
usefulness of what they are doing.
In this paper I review how conventional wisdom is changing fast in this
field, and I suggest a shift from traditional, old-fashioned, blind-alley
activities in the area of manpower planning towards a set of more promising
goals in labour market analysis.
II. Do's and don'ts in labour market analysis
Table 1 presents a summary of the points I want to make in this paper.
A line by line explanation follows.
From planning to policy analysis
Planning is becoming a word to avoid. The optimism implicit in the
central planning of the post-Second World War years has collapsed, as is
evident from the contrasting economic performance of countries that
attempted to plan (ranging from India to the Soviet Union) and of laissez-
faire economies such as those of the United States and Hong Kong. The same
applies to manpower planning. In spite of the efforts of many countries to
plan their manpower needs for the future, unemployment among school-
leavers has become worse over the years. Indeed, such unemployment might
have been lower if no attempt at manpower forecasting had ever been made.
* World Bank. This is a revised version of a paper presented at the ILO Workshop on
Approaches to Manpower Analysis and Planning, Geneva, 3-4 October 1991. The views expressed
are those of the author and should not be attributed to the World Bank.

Copyright © International Labour Organization 1991

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