Fact of the Week: When 12 African Nations Gained Access to High-Speed Internet, it Raised Employment Rates by an Average of 10 Percent

John Wu March 12, 2018
March 12, 2018

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One of the key features of the Internet is its ability to provide users unfettered access to information—a immense improvement for labor markets. Internet resources such as job search boards, easy access to company information, and wage comparison sites give both employers and employees better information to fill positions more effectively.

Many studies from around the world estimate how access to the Internet improves labor markets. One example is a recent analysis by economists Jonas Hjort and Jonas Poulsen. The authors combined employment data with data on when undersea high-speed Internet cables were deployed for 12 African countries (Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Tanzania, and South Africa). They concluded that after the deployment of high-speed Internet, 10 percent of employment growth could be attributed to that development.