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One in three workers worldwide unemployed or living in poverty, says ILO

Tuesday, January 31st 2012 - 05:01 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Somavia: “job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority” Somavia: “job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority”

The world faces the “urgent challenge” of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion, according to the annual report on global employment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“After three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labour markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million,” says the ILO in its annual report titled “Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis”. Moreover, the report says more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to absorb the estimated 40 million growth of the labour force each year.

The Global Employment Trends Report also said the world faces the additional challenge of creating decent jobs for the estimated 900 million workers living with their families below the 2 US dollars a day poverty line, mostly in developing countries.

“Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide – or an estimated 1.1 billion people – either unemployed or living in poverty”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority”.

The report says the recovery that started in 2009 has been short-lived and that there are still 27 million more unemployed workers than at the start of the crisis. The fact that economies are not generating enough employment is reflected in the employment-to-population ratio (the proportion of the working-age population in employment), which suffered the largest decline on record between 2007 (61.2%) and 2010 (60.2%).

At the same time, there are nearly 29 million fewer people in the labour force now than would be expected based on pre-crisis trends. If these discouraged workers were counted as unemployed, then global unemployment would swell from the current 197 million to 225 million, and the unemployment rate would rise from 6 per cent to 6.9%.

The report paints three scenarios for the employment situation in the future. The baseline projection shows an additional 3 million unemployed for 2012, rising to 206 million by 2016. If global growth rates fall below 2%, then unemployment would rise to 204 million in 2012. In a more benign scenario, assuming a quick resolution of the euro debt crisis, global unemployment would be around 1 million lower in 2012.

Young people continue to be among the hardest hit by the jobs crisis. Judging by the present course, the report says, there is little hope for a substantial improvement in their near-term employment prospects.

Global Employment Trends 2012 says 74.8 million youth aged 15-24 were unemployed in 2011, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. It adds that globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. The global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7%, remains a full percentage point above the pre-crisis level.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • MistyThink

    ILO says :

    1/3 workers worldwide unemployed or living in poverty ..............

    I say :

    We can resolve to redouble our efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger and to ensure that human activities respect the earth's eco systems and life support systems .We need to mainstream permanent development in all aspect of the way we live .We acknowledge the particular responsibility to nurture development ,consumption and production patterns...!....................

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 11:21 am 0
  • ChrisR


    Another load of meaningless ecobabble.

    Do you understand what you have just posted because no-one else does.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 01:57 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    I agree, Chris.
    One would hope this poster can make coherent argument on some topic or other. Nothing so far hits the spot.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 02:31 pm 0
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