Formal and Informal Employment Growth in Manufacturing (India and Bangladesh)

Rapid economic growth in South Asia has not resulted in increased economic importance of manufacturing. Services have gained importance in the economies of India and Bangladesh, while agriculture remains a major source of jobs in both these major South Asian economies. For those who are not working in agriculture, the region's large establishments or very small firms are the main source of livelihood. In between is the 'missing middle' in the South Asian modern manufacturing sector, that is, labour-intensive, mid-sized firms that could generate the kind of jobs that South Asia desperately needs.

This research project focuses on the informal and formal manufacturing labour forces of India and Bangladesh, which comprise most of the poor in South Asia. The project undertakes to explain the persistence of the 'missing middle' with reference to recent national, regional and firm-specific data, while establishing links with industrial policy making bodies and increasing research capacity on labour markets in the region.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

End Date

Thursday, March 31, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Rodriguez, Mr. Edgard

Total funding

CA$ 257,300


South Asia, Central Asia, Far East Asia, Bangladesh, India


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Dr. Sandip Sarkar


Institute for Human Development

Institution Country