Monday, 18 January 2021

UN in your language

Unemployment and inequality on the rise according to ILO

Saad Akhtar - Construction Worker Potrait / Flickr 2.0 Generic CC BY 2.0

21 January 2015 – By 2019, more than 212 million people will be out of work, up from the current 201 million, according to the World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015 (WESO) by the International Labour Organization (ILO). As the global economy has entered a new period combining slower growth, unemployment will continue to rise in the coming years, widening inequalities and turbulence.

"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. This means the jobs crisis is far from over so there is no place for complacency," ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said.

"The good news is that the number of workers in vulnerable jobs and working poverty has fallen around the globe. However, it is still not acceptable that almost half of the world's workers lack access to basic necessities and decent work," Ryder said. "The situation is even worse for women."

Young workers hit by the crisis

In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 per cent of total employment. The biggest progress has been in emerging and low-income countries.

Young workers aged 15-24 are particularly hit by the crisis, with a global youth unemployment rate of almost 13 per cent in 2014 and a further increase expected in coming years. By contrast, older workers have fared relatively well since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Inequality persists

The report says income inequality will continue to widen, with the richest 10 per cent earning 30 to 40 per cent of total income while the poorest 10 per cent will earn between 2 and 7 per cent of total income.

"If low wages lead people to consume less, and investment remains subdued, this obviously has a negative impact on growth. Income inequality in some advanced economies now approach levels observed among emerging economies. By contrast, the emerging economies made some progress in reducing their high levels of inequality", said the ILO head.

Social unrest

In line with the global unemployment rate, social unrest has now reached levels almost 10 per cent higher than before the crisis. These trends have undermined trust in governments and kept the risk of social unrest high, the report warns. Social unrest is particularly acute in countries and regions where youth unemployment is high or rising rapidly.

Only developed economies and countries in South-East Asia and the Pacific region have seen a reduction in social unrest, but even there, levels of social unrest are significantly above historical averages.

"The trends we see are worrying but we can improve the overall economic picture if we tackle underlying weaknesses, in particular the continued lack of aggregate demand, stagnation in the Eurozone, uncertain prospects for productive investment, especially among small enterprises, and mounting inequality", Ryder concluded.

You can find the full WESO-report on the ILO-website.

Social Media

Facebook R dark blue 150px  TwitterBird R dark blue 150px  Vimeo R dark blue 150px  Youtube R dark blue 150px  Instagram R dark blue 150px
>> All our channels

externallinks-icon120x120External link:


infoPoint32x32 Dblue Latest Products:

New Backgrounders:
          Refugees and Migrants
          Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)

Library Newsletter - October 2019
(new websites, information material & publications)

UN Press & Media Contacts

externallinks-icon120x120External link (non-UN):


When the Security Council approaches the final stage of negotiation of a draft resolution the text is printed in blue... What's in Blue helps interested UN readers keep up with what might soon be "in blue".