| Link to the report: Global Employment Trends 2009The global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment, the International Labour Office (ILO) says in its annual Global Employment Trends report.
The report says global unemployment in 2009 could increase over 2007 by a range of 18 million to 30 million workers, and more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate.
The ILO report also said that in this last scenario some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be pushed into extreme poverty.
“The ILO message is realistic, not alarmist. We are now facing a global jobs crisis. Many governments are aware and acting, but more decisive and coordinated international action is needed to avert a global social recession. Progress in poverty reduction is unravelling and middle classes worldwide are weakening. The political and security implications are daunting”, said ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia.
The new report updates a preliminary estimate released last October indicating that the global financial crisis could increase unemployment between 15 to 20 million people by 2009. Its key conclusions are as follows:
The ILO report notes that in 2008, North Africa and the Middle East still had the highest unemployment rates at 10.3 and 9.4 per cent respectively, followed by Central & South Eastern Europe (non EU) & the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at 8.8 per cent, sub-Saharan Africa at 7.9 per cent and Latin America at 7.3 per cent.
The lowest unemployment rate was once again observed in East Asia at 3.8 per cent, followed by South Asia and South-East Asia & the Pacific where respectively 5.4 and 5.7 per cent of the labour force was unemployed in 2008.
The report shows that the three Asian regions – South Asia, South-East Asia & the Pacific and East Asia – accounted for 57 per cent of global employment creation in 2008. In the Developed Economies & European Union region, on the other hand, net employment creation in 2008 was negative, minus 900,000 which explains in part the low global employment creation in this year.
Compared with 2007, the largest increase in a regional unemployment rate was observed in the Developed Economies & European Union region, from 5.7 to 6.4 per cent. The number of unemployed in the region jumped by 3.5 million in one year, reaching 32.3 million in 2008.
According to the study, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia stand out as regions with extremely harsh labour market conditions and with the highest shares of working poor of all regions. Although the trend has been declining over the past ten years, around four fifths of the employed were still classified as working poor in these regions in 2007.