600 Million New Jobs Needed In Next Decade

Filed under: Features,Finding a Job,International,Labor,News,Unemployment |
A French unemployment queue. Photo: ILO/M new jobs

A French unemployment queue. Photo: ILO/M. Crozet

What the world needs now is jobs, a great many new jobs.

Worldwide it’s all about jobs and work. From the jobless wake of Egypt democratic revolution to persistently high unemployment in Europe and North America work – or the lack of it – is a key issue.

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

“After three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labor markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million,” says the Geneva-based ILO in the report ominously titled “Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis”.

But that, of course, is just the beginning.

The report says more than 400 million new jobs will be needed during the next decade to absorb the estimated 40 million new people entering the workforce annually.

The ILO also reports that the world faces the additional challenge of creating decent jobs for the estimated 900 million workers living with their families below the US $2 a day poverty line, primarily in developing nations.

“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 notes the 2009 recovery was short-lived and largely jobless. There are 27 million more unemployed workers than at the start of the financial crisis.

The fact that economies are not generating enough employment is showing up in the employment-to-population ratio, the proportion of the working-age population in employment. The global employment-to-population ratio declined a record amount between 2007 (61.2%) and 2010 (60.2%).

These figures do not include approximate 29 million people who appear to have dropped out of the workforce, so-called discouraged workers. If these discouraged workers were counted as unemployed, global unemployment would jump from the current 197 million to 225 million and unemployment would rise from 6% to 6.9%.


— Robert Scally

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