June 4, 2023

The international Labour Organisation, (ILO) in its flagship report shows that while the global unemployment rate is stabilizing, unemployment and decent work deficits will stay at persistently high levels in many parts of the world this year.

In its report  titled: ‘’World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2018’’,the international agency  said  that as the global economy recovers but with a growing labour force, global unemployment in 2018 is projected to remain at a similar level to last year’s.

It  said   the global unemployment rate has been stabilizing after a rise in 2016,adding that  it is expected to have reached 5.6 per cent in 2017, with the total number of unemployed exceeding 192 million persons.

The report attributed the positive trend between 2017 and 2018 mainly to the strong performance of labour markets in developed countries, where the unemployment rate is projected to fall by an additional 0.2 percentage points in 2018 to reach 5.5 per cent, a rate below pre-crisis levels.

It added that in contrast, employment growth is expected to fall short of labour force growth in emerging and developing countries, but has improved compared to 2016.

“Even though global unemployment has stabilized, decent work deficits remain widespread: the global economy is still not creating enough jobs. Additional efforts need to be put in place to improve the quality of work for jobholders and to ensure that the gains of growth are shared equitably,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said.

Vulnerable employment is on the rise and the pace of working poverty reduction is slowing, itsaid, addingthat the significant progress achieved in the past in reducing vulnerable employment has essentially stalled since 2012.

This, it said, means that almost 1.4 billion workers are estimated to be in vulnerable employment in 2017, and that an additional 35 million are expected to join them by 2019.

It noted that in developing countries, vulnerable employment affects three out of four workers.

On a more positive note, the report noted that working poverty continues to fall in emerging countries, where the number of people in extreme working poverty is expected to reach 176 million in 2018, or 7.2 per cent of all employed people.

“In developing countries though, progress in reducing working poverty is too slow to keep up with the expanding labour force. The number of workers living in extreme poverty is expected to remain stubbornly above 114 million for the coming years, affecting 40 per cent of all employed people in 2018,” explains ILO economist Stefan Kühn, lead author of the report.

The authors of the report also highlighted the fact that participation rates among women remain well below those for their male counterparts.

Women are also more likely to face inferior quality of jobs and lower salaries, while structural shifts and ageing will add further pressures on the labour market

On shifts in the sectoral composition of employment, the report noted that service sector jobs will be the main driver of future employment growth, while agriculture and manufacturing employment continue to decline.

It added that since vulnerable and informal employment are prevalent in both agriculture and market services, the projected employment shifts across sectors may have only limited potential to reduce decent work deficits, if not accompanied by strong policy efforts to boost job quality and productivity in the service sector.

The report also examined the influence of population ageing,saying it shows that the growth of the global workforce will not be sufficient to compensate for the rapidly expanding pool of retirees.

It said the average age of working people is projected to rise from just under 40 in 2017 to over 41 in 2030.

“Besides the challenge a growing number of retirees creates for pension systems, an increasingly ageing workforce is also likely to have a direct impact on labour markets. Ageing could lower productivity and slow down labour market adjustments following economic shocks,” says the ILO’s Director of Research Department,Sangheon Lee.


7 thoughts on “ILO: Unemployment, Decent Work Deficits Will Remain High In 2018

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