The global labour market like everything else has of course been affected by the recent recession. Currently the total global unemployment lies at around 200 million, this a staggering figure which poses a huge challenge in order to try to reduce it. The impact of the recession on the global labour market has been magnified by the wide range of industries that were affected due to the crisis such as: construction, financial services, manufacturing and retail distribution. All these industries suffered greatly and resulted in the loss of millions of jobs throughout the world.
The varying impact which the recession has had in the labour market can be seen through the unemployment rates of developed countries. Spain’s current unemployment rate lies around 20%, this evidence of the severe impact the recession has had on the Spanish construction industry. In contrast, Japan’s current unemployment rate is around only 5%, this could be a result of Japanese companies’ lifetime employment model commitment. In exchange for hard work and loyalty to the firm, employees receive job security and benefits. The impact of the recession has had a different impact on the labour market of Anglo-American countries. The current unemployment rate of countries such as Canada, USA and UK lies generally between 7-9%. Although the recession has still caused an increase in unemployment, the flexibility of these economies has allowed for them to adjust to changes more quickly and so the labour market has not suffered as greatly as can be seen in other countries.
The extent of the current problems in the global labour market has resulted in the notion of a new permanently higher unemployment rate. Where the previous rate of global unemployment lay around 4-5%, it is suggested this figure could now rest a few points higher or even in double figures. There is however some optimism in the form of emerging technologies such as renewable energy and biotechnology. These fields have the potential for high growth and therefore investment within them could lead to the creation of new jobs. The recovery from the recession in the forthcoming years will therefore be vital in determining the future of the global labour market.