World Jobless Numbers to Hit Record 200m This Year: Report

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Five years since the start of the global financial crisis, the International Labour Organisation said in a report released Tuesday the net number of unemployed people rose by 4 million in 2012 to some 197 million overall. The United Nations jobs watchdog estimates unemployment will rise by 5.1 million this year and by another 3 million in 2014.

In its annual report on global employment trends, the UN’s labour watchdog said last year’s unemployment number inched up towards the all-time high of 199 million seen at the epicentre of the crisis in 2009, with 6 percent of the world's labour force without a job in 2012.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva Monday, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said “the trends are very much going in the wrong direction,” lamenting a “noticeable worsening of the unemployment situation around the world.”

According to the report, Global Employment Trends 2013, unemployment is expected to rise by 5.1 million this year to a new high of more than 202 million.

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The ILO also revealed that long-term unemployment was growing, pointing out that a third of Europe's jobless had been without work for more than a year.

Many were also leaving the job market altogether, particularly in developed economies, with labour force participation rates falling “dramatically”, ILO said, “masking the true extent of the jobs crisis.” An estimated 39 million people withdrew from the labour market last year.

The ILO added the worst affected group is the youth. Currently, some 73.8 million young people are unemployed globally and the slowdown in economic activity is likely to push another half million into unemployment by 2014.

The youth unemployment rate – which has already increased to 12.6 percent in 2012 – is expected to rise to 12.9 percent by 2017. The agency said:


The crisis has dramatically diminished the labour market prospects for young people, as many experience long-term unemployment right from the start of their labour market entry, a situation that was never observed during earlier cyclical downturns.

The report called for more funds to be injected in vocational training to equip young people to do the jobs available. The ILO pointed out that countries which had retained apprenticeships - such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland - had the lowest levels of youth unemployment.

"This is a massive waste of the lives of young people and their talents, and extraordinarily damaging to the people themselves and their societies," Ryder said.

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