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Labor Force Policy and Planning

The Mongolian regime sets and implements labor force policy and planning. In the late 1980s, policy on the work force followed the General Plan for Development and Distribution of the Mongolian People's Republic's Productive Forces for the Period up to the Year 2,000 and the Program for Optimal and Rational Use of the MPR's Labor Resources.
Manpower was managed by the State Committee on Labor and Wages until January 1988, when the committee was dissolved and its functions were absorbed by the new State Planning and Economic Committee (see Major State Organizations). The major objectives of state manpower policy were: planned filling of all jobs with workers possessing the appropriate occupational qualifications in order to satisfy manpower requirements for the smooth functioning of the economy; full employment, balancing the number of workers with jobs available; increased labor productivity in all economic sectors; and manpower management based on principles of free will and material interest and on observance of the constitutional right to work and to free choice of occupation. The government planned labor resources and allocated labor by drawing up a national manpower balance sheet for one-year and five-year periods. This balance sheet, which aggregated territorial and administrative manpower balance sheets, took into account total population, total labor resources, distribution of labor resources, and estimates of additional manpower and training requirements; it also estimated the number of young people starting work or study courses. Analysis of the national manpower balance sheet enabled the state to plan for the training and the allocation of skilled manpower.

Special emphasis was placed on domestic vocational and technical training and on training opportunities abroad. In 1985 Mongolia had 40 vocational training schools with an enrollment of 27,700 (see Education). Many Mongolians studied and took training courses of varying duration in the Soviet Union and other Comecon countries; in 1988 there were approximately 10,000 such students in the Soviet Union. The Eighth Plan called for the training of 52,000 specialists with higher and secondary technical specialist education and for no fewer than 60,000 skilled workers. As a result of such training, Mongolia's literate work force possessed increasingly sophisticated technical skills.

The state allocated manpower in two principal ways. First, local committees considered individual wishes, place of residence, and family situation, then provided work warrants to graduating students from all levels who were not pursuing further education. These work warrants compelled the management of organizations requesting workers to give the graduating students work in the appropriate occupation, as well as to provide additional training, housing, and other benefits. Second, state labor organizations recruited workers to fill positions. Workers could choose occupations, and they signed contracts committing them to work for either an indefinite period or for a fixed period of up to three years. State recruitment of labor was important because of labor shortages in certain sectors of the economy. With increased urbanization and the emphasis on specialized technical training, agricultural laborers were scarce, as were workers in capital construction. Imbalances in the labor force, combined with the composition of the population (the World Bank projected in 1987 that by 1990 some 72 percent of the population would be younger than fifteen) have led at least one Western analyst to suggest that sectoral unemployment among Mongolia's well-educated youth would be a problem in the 1990s.

Last Update: 2010-12-07