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ILO reports global unemployment on the rise

24 January, 2013The number of unemployed worldwide rose by 4.2 million in 2012 to over 197 million, a 5.9 per cent unemployment rate, according to the International Labour Organization’s report, Global Employment Trends 2013.

The ILO’s Global Employment Trends 2013 released 21 January 2013 found:

  • 197 million people were left without a job in 2012;
  • 39 million people have dropped out of the labour market as job prospects proved unattainable;
  • Another 5.3 million people are expected to be unemployed in 2013.

A quarter of the increase in global unemployment in 2012 has been in the advanced economies, while three quarters has been in other regions, with marked effects in East Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Those regions that have managed to prevent a further increase in unemployment often have experienced a worsening in job quality, as vulnerable employment and the number of workers living below or very near the poverty line increased.

The figures show 74 million young people are unemployed globally. Some 35 per cent of young people have been out of a job for 6 months or longer in advanced economies.

The ILO warns that the rise in unemployment could further increase in 2013 due to an uncertain economic outlook and inadequate policy response.

Commenting on the figures, Guy Ryder, ILO Director General said, “The global nature of the crisis means countries cannot resolve its impact individually and with domestic measures only. The high uncertainty, which is holding off investments and job creation, will not recede if countries come up with conflicting solutions.”

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), commented on the report, saying, “International financial institutions and governments are continuing to pursue the same old policies while the number of unemployed people keeps rising. What will it take for politicians to face up to the truth behind the numbers – their economic policies are failing?”

“By creating jobs, restoring wages, and providing real job security, worker confidence will kick start the global economy,” said Burrow.

The labour movement has five main demands to rebuild the global economy:

  • 80 million new jobs by 2015
  • Decent work
  • Financial regulation
  • Fair and progressive taxation
  • Food security and climate action