Indonesia created more than 10 million new jobs in four years, handing President Joko Widodo a major election boost as he bids for a second term.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy generated 10.3 million new jobs between 2015 and 2018, surpassing Widodo’s pledge of 2 million employment annually, the manpower ministry said on Friday. The government is committed to creating two million more jobs this year, Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri said in a message on YouTube.

Key Insights

  • More jobs are needed to improve the livelihood of about 28 percent of the population currently earning less than $3.1 a day. After focusing on improving the nation’s creaky infrastructure, Widodo, known as Jokowi, has promised to focus on skilled manpower that’s key to attracting investment in the manufacturing sector. Only 17 percent of the 127 million Indonesians with jobs have finished high school, while less than 10 percent have a university degree, according to official data
  • With the economic growth failing to meet the 7 percent pace targeted by Jokowi, the success in job creation that’s sent the unemployment rate to a near two-decade low may help the incumbent fend off a challenge from Prabowo Subianto, in a re-run of the 2014 presidential elections scheduled in April