Mobility - July 2021 - 34

added competition from employers willing to let
new hires choose where they want to live.
Pace of Change Deepening Digital Divide
While digital transformation allowed many
companies to pivot quickly and maintain
their business through the pandemic, the new
emphasis on digital tools has only deepened
the so-called " digital divide " for that significant
portion of the world's population-between 40%
and 50%, according to Suárez Santos-without
access to the internet.
" Digital illiteracy is high, so [digital transforma34
tion]
is far from being an ideal trend. What's more
worrying is that it's going to increase the digital
divide between those who have access and those
who have no access, " he says.
So-called " platform work " -essentially
individuals using digital tools to provide
services either independently or through
digital labor platforms such as Upwork and
PeoplePerHour-is one route to participation in
the digital economy. But these opportunities are
available only to those with access.
" That's the other part of the equation, " Suárez
Santos says. " Yes, there are fantastic possibilities,
but if your connectivity is low or weak, you can't
take advantage of them. That's the worrying part,
and that's where we should be focusing in international
discussions. "
Expanding rural access to broadband is one
goal of the American Rescue Plan approved by
Congress in March, but Suárez Santos points out
that many of the world's less developed countries
that need improved internet access can't afford to
make similar investments.
'Very, Very Divided World of Work'
No discussion of the state of work can ignore
the stark reality that more than 2 billion people
around the world work in the so-called " informal
economy " with no rights and no voice,
employed by businesses that operate beyond the
reach of regulation, pay no taxes, and write their
own rules.
While efforts to transition such businesses
into the formal economy have failed, the digital
transformation that is altering how the rest
of the world works could be a key to creating
entrepreneurial opportunities for these workers
to create a better life.
" The headline for me is that the digital transformation
should help, should serve as leverage to
promote transitions to the formal economy, " says
Suárez Santos. " If we don't tackle the fact that 60%
of the working population is in the informal sector,
we will have a very, very divided world of work for
the future. "
The experience of less developed regions where
ways have been found to bridge the digital divide
gives Suárez Santos hope.
" If you consider how intensively the use of
access to mobile phones has expanded in even the
less developed economies-and see the opportunities
that brings-you can see the difference. "
The digital
transformation should
... serve as leverage to
promote transitions to
the formal economy. If
we don't tackle the fact
that 60% of the working
population is in the
informal sector, we
will have a very, very
divided world of work
for the future. "
-ROBERTO SUÁREZ SANTOS, IOE
worldwideerc.org
http://www.worldwideerc.org

Mobility - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility - July 2021

Mobility - July 2021 - Cover1
Mobility - July 2021 - Cover2
Mobility - July 2021 - 1
Mobility - July 2021 - 2
Mobility - July 2021 - 3
Mobility - July 2021 - 4
Mobility - July 2021 - 5
Mobility - July 2021 - 6
Mobility - July 2021 - 7
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Mobility - July 2021 - Cover3
Mobility - July 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com