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Global jobs market must absorb 400m new workers over next decade

• International Labour Organisation issues Global Employment Trends 2012 report
• ‘Continuous crisis conditions’ have left 200m jobless
• 900m workers worldwide living below the -a-day poverty line
• Under-25s three times as likely as adults to be unemployed

The global economy will need to create 600m jobs over the next decade to meet the “urgent challenge” of tackling the legacy of unemployment left by recession and to find work for those entering the labour force, according to the International Labour Organisation.

In its annual report on the state of the global jobs market, the ILO said that three years of “continuous crisis conditions” had left 200m people jobless.

It estimated that a further 400m jobs – 40m a year – would be needed over the next decade to absorb growth in the international labour force.

The Global Employment Trends 2012 report said that 900m workers, mostly in developing countries, were living with their families on less than the -a-day global poverty line, half of them surviving below the .25-a-day extreme poverty line. The ILO urged policymakers to take steps to create better-paid jobs.

“Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide – or an estimated 900m people – either unemployed or living in poverty,” said Juan Somavía, the ILO’s director general. “What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our number-one priority.”

With global growth slowing, the ILO said the pick-up in employment after the deep slump of 2008-09 had been short lived and there were still 27m more people unemployed than at the start of the crisis. The lack of jobs had resulted in some giving up hope of finding work, with 29m fewer people in the global workforce than would have been expected had the pre-crisis rate of employment growth continued. The ILO said that if discouraged workers had been included, the global unemployment total would have been 225m rather than 197m and the jobless rate would have been 6.9% rather than 6%.

Young people continue to be hardest hit by the lack of jobs, with almost 75m of those aged between 15 and 24 out of work in 2011, a 4m increase since 2007. The report added that the under-25s were three times as likely as adults to be unemployed.

Progress in reducing the number of working poor had slowed markedly, the ILO said. Nearly 30% of workers were living with their families on less than a day, up by 55m since the start of the crisis.

“These latest figures reflect the increasing inequality and continuous exclusion that millions of workers and their families are facing,” Somavía said. “Whether we recover or not from this crisis will depend on how effective government policies ultimately are. And policies will only be effective as long as they have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

The report said that with demand faltering it was important for governments to stimulate their economies further, adding that this could be achieved in a way that did not put the sustainability of public finances at risk. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds