Around 50 percent of the country's day-labourers need to work more than 48 hours a week as a result of a poor working environment, lack of skill and low productivity.
The observation came through a report titled "Future of Work" prepared by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The ILO in cooperation with the Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) organised a meeting on Wednesday to discuss Bangladesh's position in the report and necessary measures that should be taken.
Some 85 percent of day-labourers work in informal jobs. They do not get fair wages and they have to work under poor conditions, according to the report.
The research was carried out globally on challenges at workplaces and the subsequent action being taken, to mark the 100th founding anniversary of the ILO
The research revealed that Bangladesh has 2.7 million unemployed youths at present.
The country has to deal with several challenges – such as automation, climate change and social and political challenges both globally and internally – to provide jobs for the unemployed.
It is also essential to develop skills of youths, enhance organisational skills, and invest in creating sustainable and environment-friendly job sectors.
ILO Country Director for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen said, "Now the biggest challenge for Bangladesh is proper employment generation for youths. Every year 20 lakh young people enter the job market. Of them, eight lakh are not getting jobs."
He stressed creating self-employment and investing big in the SME sector.
The ILO country director urged the government to formulate the eighth Five Year Plan by keeping those challenges in focus.
The private sector has to join hands with the government for this as well, he added.
A team of researchers from the Brac Institute of Governance and Development, led by Mahin Sultan, Ferdousi Sultana and Salma Begum, reviewed the ILO report.
Poverty has not been reducing in Bangladesh at a satisfactory rate despite good economic growth. In particular, the poverty reduction rate has slowed down after 2010, they said.
They linked this situation to the growing disparity in incomes.
It is not possible to reap benefits from demographic dividend if proper employment for working-age people is not generated after developing them as a skilled workforce.
Investment is essential for creating a skilled workforce, three researchers said.
Investment only in vocational training is not enough to face this challenge of creating skilled manpower.
Enhanced investments need to be made and utilised properly, starting from the primary education sector and leading right up to all sectors where jobs are available. If basic education is not strong, vocational training will hardly be of use.
About 14 percent of young people aged between 15-35 years have been given vocational training and 16 percent of them have computer training. But 30 percent, mostly women, don't have any education or training or employment.
A women-friendly work environment and economic management are necessary to tackle this.
They said that government organisations must become modernised. They also said it is necessary to have accountability in the corporate and individual sectors. The minimum rights of day-labourers, domestic workers in particular, have to be safeguarded.
Steps to cope with changing technologies are essential. For example, those who are at risk of losing their jobs due to automation in the garments sector in the future have to be trained up to help them improve and expand their expertise.
In the future, the green economy and blue economy will emerge as two big sectors for employment in Bangladesh
If investments in these two sectors are increased, new job opportunities will be created, and those will be environment-friendly as well, they said.
The energy sector has witnessed a big investment, but such is not the case with renewable sources. The latter require more investment.
There are also windows of opportunity for a big investment in fish production, tourism and other related sectors in the marine environment, they added.