International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 20 January 2015 released a report titled World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015 (WESO).
The report warned that unemployment will continue to rise in the coming years, as the global economy has entered a new period combining slower growth, widening inequalities and turbulence.
By 2019, more than 212 million people will be out of work, up from the current 201 million.
Main Highlights of the report
• The employment situation has improved in the United States and Japan, but remains difficult in a number of advanced economies, particularly in Europe.
• Two regions, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, accounted for three quarters of the world’s vulnerable employment. East Asia is among the regions that are likely to make the biggest dent in vulnerable employment, which is expected to be reduced in the region from 50.2 per cent in 2007 to 38.9 per cent in 2019.
• The employment situation has not improved much in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite better economic growth performance. And in the Arab region and parts of Latin America and the Caribbean the employment outlook has deteriorated.
• The steep decline in oil and gas prices may improve the employment outlook somewhat in many advanced economies and several Asian countries according to some forecasts.
• Young workers aged 15-24 are particularly hit by the crisis, with a global youth unemployment rate of almost 13 per cent in 2014 and a further increase expected in coming years. By contrast, older workers have fared relatively well since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.
Middle classes in developing countries on the rise
• In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 per cent of total employment. The biggest progress has been in emerging and low-income countries.
Income inequality, unemployment and social unrest
• The report explained growing and persistent inequality and uncertain prospects for enterprise investment, has made it difficult for countries to rebound from the crisis.
• Income inequality in some advanced economies now approach levels observed among emerging economies. By contrast, the emerging economies made some progress in reducing their high levels of inequality.
• The report said income inequality will continue to widen, with the richest 10 per cent earning 30 to 40 per cent of total income while the poorest 10 per cent will earn between 2 and 7 per cent of total income.
• Social unrest is particularly acute in countries and regions where youth unemployment is high or rising rapidly.
• In line with the global unemployment rate, social unrest shot up since the beginning of the crisis in 2008, and has now reached levels almost 10 per cent higher than before the crisis.
• Only developed economies and countries in South-East Asia and the Pacific region have seen a reduction in social unrest – after peaks before or around the global crisis. But even there, levels of social unrest are significantly above historical averages.
• Other factors include major shifts in demand for skills. At the global level, the share of both low-skilled, non-routine jobs, such as security personnel and some personal care workers, and high-skilled non-routine cognitive jobs, such as lawyers and software engineers, has increased.
• By contrast, routine middle-skilled jobs – like book-keepers and clerical workers – are declining.
When: 20 January 2015