Unemployment Set To Increase, Nearly Half A Billion People Lack Decent Jobs: UN Labour Report

Published : 21 Jan 2020 9:03 AM GMT
Unemployment Set To Increase, Nearly Half A Billion People Lack Decent Jobs: UN Labour Report

Image Credit: United Nations, IndiaTV News

As many as 285 million people worldwide are considered underemployed, which means they either work less than they want to or do not have access to the labour market.

More than 470 million people across the world are currently unemployed or underemployed, the United Nations revealed in a report with the International Labor Organization (ILO). This figure represents around 13% of the global labour force.

The global unemployment rate was relatively stable during the 2010s but is expected to rise by 2.5 million in 2020, from 188 million to 190.5 million people, the annual World Employment and Social Outlook report said.

"For millions of working people, it is becoming increasingly difficult I think to build better lives through work," said ILO chief Guy Ryder.

"Labor market conditions are contributing to this erosion of social cohesion in many of our societies," said Ryder.

The report stressed not only on the unemployed but the underemployed as well. As many as 285 million people worldwide are considered underemployed, which means they either work less than they want to or do not have access to the labour market.

"Persisting and substantial work-related inequalities and exclusion are preventing them from finding decent work and better futures. That's an extremely serious finding that has profound and worrying implications for social cohesion."

The report draws a very strong connection between social unrest, unemployment and underemployment.

As per ILO's 'social unrest index,' that measures the frequency of events that create unrest, like demonstrations and strikes, there was an increase in both at the global level and in 7 out of 11 regions between 2009 and 2019.

As many as 267 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are not employed, educated or trained. This may contribute to the social unrest caused across the globe, the report said.

The report also stated the widening inequality between the world's richest and poorest.

Gender inequalities continue to plague the market and limit both individual opportunity and economic growth. Female participation in the workforce which remains at 47%, 27 percentage points below the male figure, is also highlighted as a matter of concern in the report.

"We are not going where we want to go," said Ryder. "The situation is worse than we previously thought."

Earlier in January, a UN report showed that developed countries are experiencing slow growth, and some African countries are stagnating. The result is that not sufficient new jobs are being created to accommodate the growing labour force as it enters the market.

In addition, many African countries are experiencing a fall in real incomes and an increase in poverty.

Eradicating poverty is a crucial element of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development but, according to the ILO study, moderate or extreme working poverty is expected to increase in 2020-21 in developing countries.

The report suggests that the countries ensure the economic growth and development occurs in a way that leads to the eradication or minimisation of poverty and creates better working conditions in low-income countries, through structural transformation, technological upgrading and diversification.


Also Read: India's Richest 1% Are 4-Times Wealthier Than Poorest 70%: Oxfam Study

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