Global unemployment projected to rise

Despite falling unemployment levels in some developed economies, new analysis shows the global job crisis is not likely to end, especially in emerging economies.

Continuing high rates of unemployment worldwide and chronic vulnerable employment in many emerging and developing economies are still deeply affecting the world of work, warns a new International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday.

It indicates that the final figure for unemployment in 2015 is estimated to stand at 197.1 million and in 2016 is forecast to rise by about 2.3 million to reach 199.4 million.

An additional 1.1 million joblessness will likely be added to the global tally in 2017, according to the ILO’s world employment and social outlook — trends 2016 (WESO).

“The significant slowdown in emerging economies coupled with a sharp decline in commodity prices is having a dramatic effect on the world of work,” said Guy Ryder, the ILO Director-General.

“Many working women and men are having to accept low paid jobs, both in emerging and developing economies and also, increasingly in developed countries,” he said.

He said, “And despite a drop in the number of unemployed in some EU countries and the US, too many people are still jobless.”

“We need to take urgent action to boost the number of decent work opportunities or we risk intensified social tensions,” he said.

The report noted that in 2015, total global unemployment stood at 197.1 million — 27 million higher than the pre-crisis level of 2007.

It said the unemployment rate for developed economies decreased from 7.1 per cent in 2014 to 6.7 per cent in 2015, adding that these improvements were not sufficient to eliminate the job gaps that emerged as a result of the global financial crisis.

It said moreover, the employment outlook has now weakened in emerging and developing economies, notably in Brazil, China and oil-producing countries.

“The unstable economic environment associated with volatile capital flows, still dysfunctional financial markets and the shortage of global demand continues to affect enterprises and deter investment and job creation,” explained Raymond Torres, Director of the ILO Research Department.

“In addition, policy-makers need to focus more on strengthening employment policies and tackling excessive inequalities.

“There is much evidence that well-designed labour market and social policies are essential for boosting economic growth and addressing the jobs crisis, and almost eight years after the start of the global crisis, a strengthening of that policy approach is urgently needed,” Torres added.

The authors of the WESO report also document the fact that job quality remains a major challenge.

The report said while there had been a decrease in poverty rates, the rate of decline in the number of working poor in developing economies has slowed and vulnerable employment still accounts for over 46 per cent of total employment globally, affecting nearly 1.5 billion people.

It pointed out that vulnerable employment is particularly high in emerging and developing economies, hitting between half and three-quarters of the employed population in those groups of countries, respectively, with peaks in Southern Asia (74 per cent) and sub-Saharan Africa (70 per cent).

Meanwhile, the report shows that informal employment — as a percentage of non-agricultural employment — exceeds 50 per cent in half of the developing and emerging countries with comparable data; in one-third of these countries, it affects over 65 per cent of workers.


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