Global Unemployment To Go Up In Next Five Years: UN Report

20/01/2015 8:17 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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Jobseekers queue to enter an OAED employment center before opening in Athens, Greece, on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Over the past two years, real wages fell in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy, the OECD said Sept. 3 in a report on employment. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Geneva: Global unemployment is expected to increase by 11 million in the next five years as the world economy continues to grow at "tepid rates", a latest UN report released here today has warned.

According to the World Employment Social Outlook report compiled by International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 212 million people will be jobless by 2019 as compared with the current level of 201 million.

Around 74 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24 were looking for work in 2014 and a total of 201 million were unemployed, 31 million more than before the start of the global crisis in 2008,

the report said, adding that young women were disproportionately affected by this trend.

"The global economy is continuing to grow at tepid rates and that has clear consequences," said Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO, the UN specialised agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognised human and labour rights.

He said the world economy has been unable to close the significant employment and social gaps and the job cost stands at 61 million jobs the since the 2008 financial crisis.

Income inequalities have widened delaying global economy and job recovery. On an average the richest 10 per cent earn 30 to 40 per cent while the poorest 10 per cent earn around two per cent of the total income, the report said.

An extra 280 million jobs would have to be created by 2019 to close the gap created by the financial turmoil, it said.

"The world is reeling from excesses of inequalities. There is massive human waste, misery and suffering. Not just the fear of (economic) instability should be the imperative for addressing unemployment," Ryder said, adding that inequality has reached levels where it blocks social mobility.

India had around 13 per cent of the labour force in the manufacturing sector when its manufacturing was at its peak in 2012 for the period between 1992 and 2013. For the same period China peaked at 15 per cent in 1995, Pakistan at 16 per cent in 2002, the report said.

It said the situation is especially dire for South Asia which faces a huge challenge of jobless growth with an annual average economic growth of 6.1 per cent from 2009 to 2014 corresponded to employment expansion of only 1.4 per cent for the same period.

"Much of the employment growth that occurred was in the vulnerable and informal employment," the report said, adding with the exception of Nepal, most South Asian countries face the challenge of low labour force participation for women.

"Economies with high female labour participation rates experience economic slowdowns less often, indicating a higher resilience to adverse economic shocks," it said.

To make a serious dent in the "mountain of inequality" there has to be clear labour market interventions by ensuring minimum wages, collective bargaining and returns to labour, Ryder said.

According to the report the employment situation is improving in some advanced economies like the US, Japan and the UK but this improvement has to be understood with some caution.

"The unemployment statistic in the US, for instance, has improved after heavy fall in participation rates. Some 4.5 million people who are no longer in the employment market, Ryder said.

"This means the jobs crisis is far from over and there is no place for complacency," he added.

He said though there might seem to be an apparent contradiction between a growing global middle class and large scale unemployment, there is no causal relation between the two and reflect the growing complexities of a rebalancing global economy.

Aggregate demand and enterprise investment need to be bolstered, including through well-designed employment, incomes, enterprise and social policy, the report said.

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