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Global unemployment to rise; half a billion people affected by insufficient pay — ILO

Global unemployment will increase by 2.5 million this year, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA (Photo: yale.edu)

What’s more, almost half a billion people are working fewer paid hours than they would like or lack adequate access to paid work, according to a report by the United Nations agency.

The World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO), which provides an overview of global trends in employment, unemployment, labour force participation and productivity, said unemployment will grow as the global growth slows.

“For millions of ordinary people, it’s increasingly difficult to build better lives through work. Persisting and substantial work-related inequalities and exclusion are preventing them from finding decent work and better futures.”

– Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder

“Global unemployment has been roughly stable for the last nine years but slowing global economic growth means that, as the global labour force increases, not enough new jobs are being generated to absorb new entrants to the labour market,” said the WESO report.

Currently, there are 188 million unemployed people across the globe with an additional 165 million who do not have enough paid work. Those numbers become even starker with WESO’s disclosure that a further 120 million have either given up actively seeking work or lack access to the labour market.  “In total, more than 470 million people worldwide are affected,” the ILO said.

Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder, said “For millions of ordinary people, it’s increasingly difficult to build better lives through work. Persisting and substantial work-related inequalities and exclusion are preventing them from finding decent work and better futures,” he said adding “That’s an extremely serious finding that has profound and worrying implications for social cohesion.”

Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder (Photo: un.org)

Poverty, moderate or extreme, is expected to increase in developing countries this year heading into 2021, which will further affect the United Nations’ aim eradicate global poverty in by 2030. “Currently working poverty (defined as earning less than US$3.20 per day in purchasing power parity terms) affects more than 630 million workers, or one in five of the global working population.”

Other factors which continue to seriously affect labour markets, according to WESO, are inequalities in gender, age and geographic location.