World of Work: Kazakhstan Case Study


Despite the sustained economic growth and progress that the country has made in the past 20 years, there are several challenges facing the labor market. While many jobs exist, they remain low-quality, poorly paid, and unproductive overall. The economy continues to depend heavily on the oil and gas sector, and the jobs being filled by Kazakhstanis are mostly low-skilled ones.
The biggest hurdle for Kazakhstan’s future labor market is the lacking education system and the potential resulting emigration. Kazakhstan has made great strides towards universal access and enrollment in education. The challenge is in improving the quality of education. Schools need more independence in adjusting curricula to meet the needs of twenty-first-century students and better resources to attract and retain quality instructors. Teaching remains one of the lowest-paid jobs in the country.
Demographics will also play a key role in the labor market. Kazakhstan’s elderly population (65+) will double by 2050. This will create pressure for the country to provide retirement income and adequate care to a growing aging population.