22 March 2019
The International Labor Organization says social unrest has gradually increased as joblessness persists. Photo: Reuters
The International Labor Organization says social unrest has gradually increased as joblessness persists. Photo: Reuters

ILO warns of more social unrest as joblessness grows

The global jobs market will continue to deteriorate in the coming years, while rising income inequality and high youth unemployment will stoke more social unrest, the Guardian newspaper said, citing a report released by the International Labor Organization.

“More than 61 million jobs have been lost since the start of the global crisis in 2008 and our projections show that unemployment will continue to rise until the end of the decade,” ILO director general Guy Ryder was quoted as saying. “This means the jobs crisis is far from over so there is no place for complacency.”

Unemployment will rise to more than 212 million people by 2019, up from 201 million now, said the ILO report, World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015.

The employment situation has improved in the United States and Japan, the report said, but remains difficult in many advanced economies, particularly in the eurozone.

The ILO forecasts a global unemployment rate of 5.9 percent this year and next, compared with 5.5 percent before the global financial crisis in 2007, the newspaper said.

Income inequality will continue to widen. Already, the agency said, the richest 10 percent earn 30-40 percent of total income while the poorest 10 percent earn around 2 percent.

“In several advanced economies, where inequalities historically have been much lower than in developing countries, income inequalities have worsened rapidly in the aftermath of the crisis and in some instance are approaching levels observed in some emerging economies,” the ILO said.

“In emerging and developing economies, where overall inequalities have typically fallen, levels remain high and the pace of improvement has slowed considerably.”

The agency warned that economic growth will suffer as low wages lead people to consume less and investment remains subdued.

Rising inequality undermines trust in government and leads to widespread frustration among young people as pay trends fail to match a  general improvement in educational attainment, the ILO said.

“Social unrest has gradually increased as joblessness persists. It tended to decline before the global crisis and has increased since then. Countries facing high or rapidly rising youth unemployment are especially vulnerable to social unrest.”

Almost 74 million young people, aged 15–24, were looking for work last year, according to the ILO report. Youth unemployment rate “is practically three times higher” than for their adult counterparts, it added.

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