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The International Labour Organization (ILO) predicts that global unemployment will increase due to a decrease in productivity and a rise in social inequality.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) predicts that global unemployment will increase due to a decrease in productivity and a rise in social inequality.

The International Labor Organization has issued a warning that global unemployment is expected to increase this year, which will slow down the gradual economic recovery of nations that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2024 report by the ILO, the global unemployment rate in 2023 was 5.1%, the lowest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019. This rate is expected to rise to 5.2% in 2024.

Although the report notes that labor markets in 2023 displayed unexpected strength despite a decline in economic conditions, further examination of economic patterns reveals concerning indications of increasing vulnerability and discrepancies in labor markets.

“At the report launch in Geneva on Wednesday, ILO director-general Gilbert Houngbo expressed concern that the current crises are hindering advancements in global social justice.”

There is still a notable lack of suitable employment opportunities where workers feel secure and are treated respectfully. We strongly believe that having access to good, respectable jobs is essential for achieving sustainable development and promoting social equality.

The head of ILO expressed worry over the increasing disparity in job opportunities, specifically the amount of individuals who are unable to secure employment despite their desire to work.

“According to the speaker, in the year 2023, there were 189 million individuals officially recognized as unemployed globally. However, a significantly higher number of 435 million people were actively seeking employment but were unable to secure it.”

According to the report, countries with higher income are making more progress in reducing the disparity in job opportunities, with a gap rate of 8.2% in wealthier nations compared to 20.5% in poorer nations. Additionally, the report highlights that unemployment rates were lower in wealthy countries at 4.5% in 2023, compared to 5.7% in low-income countries.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) stated that the total number of employees living in severe poverty increased by approximately one million in the previous year, reaching over 241 million individuals. These workers earned less than $2.15 per day.

Fortunately, the report noted that the prevalence of casual employment has decreased to nearly pre-pandemic levels. However, due to the expanding labor force, the number of informal workers has risen to approximately two billion individuals in 2023.

It predicts that informal employment will make up approximately 58% of the worldwide labor force by 2024.

The rate of return to pre-pandemic levels of labor market participation has been different for various groups. Although women’s participation has recovered rapidly, the study revealed that there is still a significant gender disparity, particularly in emerging and developing countries.

Houngbo expressed concern about the lack of progress in closing the gap between men and women. He noted that, in the aftermath of COVID-19, more women have shifted towards working in the informal sector rather than the formal economy, which ultimately affects the overall quality of their employment.

The findings of the report indicate that the rates of unemployment among young people remain a hindrance to their long-term job prospects.

According to Richard Samans, the director of research at the ILO, youth unemployment is a major issue in Africa. Globally, individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, who are considered part of the workforce, have an unemployment rate that is three-and-a-half times higher than that of adults of working age.

One issue in Africa is that there is a high and increasing number of young people who are not in school, employed, or receiving training. This is a concerning trend for the continent, according to the speaker.

Following a temporary increase due to the pandemic, the ILO report highlights that labor productivity has reverted back to its previous decade’s low point. The report reveals that despite advancements in technology and higher investments, the growth of productivity has remained sluggish.

Samans attributes the lack of investment in addressing skills shortages as a primary factor for the failure of technology to increase productivity.

“In countries such as the United States, there has been a lack of investment in active labor market policies, including training, employment services, and income support.”

According to him, the United States and several other high-income countries will continue to face significant challenges such as low wages, job insecurity, health concerns, aging populations, and inadequate investment in skills amidst a rapidly evolving economic landscape. These issues are likely to remain prominent and may even exacerbate in the future.