Jobs, jobs and more jobs! This is a slogan chanted by political incumbents and aspirants alike, in Africa or in Australia. For instance, a newly-formed opposition in Malawi, the United Transformation Movement (UTM), under the leadership of Saulos Chilima, promised to create a million jobs within its first year of office during the 2019 presidential election campaign.
This, however, is not the first time such promises have been made on political podiums; yet governments come and go without addressing the employment question satisfactorily. During his political campaign, Donald Trump promised to be the “greatest jobs producer that God ever created,” pledging to create 25 million jobs in 10 years of office; however, according to the CNNMoney Trump Jobs Tracker, as of January 2018, only 1,839,000 jobs had been created.
One of the reasons governments have difficulty creating as many jobs as they promise is that there is a shift in the business model from mega-companies employing hundreds of thousands of people to small companies whose workforce hardly exceeds 50 employees. This shift is partly in response to the problem called “diseconomies of scale,” whereby the larger the organization, the less efficient it becomes.