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Unemployment Projected To Increase By Around 2.5 Million In 2020: ILO Report "Total labour underutilization is more than twice as high as unemployment, affecting over 470 million people worldwide," according to the International Labour Organization report.

By Tahira Noor Khan

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Global unemployment is forecast to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020 and almost half-a-billion people are affected by insufficient paid work according to the report World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO) released by Geneva-headquartered UN agency, International Labour Organization (ILO).

The report states that there are around 188 million unemployed people in the world. In addition, 165 million people lack sufficient paid work and 120 million either lack access to the labour market or have given up actively searching for work. In total, more than 470 million people worldwide are affected.

ILO director-general Guy Ryder, said, "Persisting and substantial work-related inequalities and exclusion are preventing them (people) from finding decent work and better futures. That's an extremely serious finding that has profound and worrying implications for social cohesion."

Source: ILO Report

Reasons behind labour inequality

Unemployment, labour underutilization, working poverty, income inequality, labour income share are factors that exclude people from having a decent work.

Also Read: Why India Needs More Entrepreneurs with Right Educational Support

ILO data revealed that at the global level, income inequality is far greater than previously thought."Substantial inequalities prevail in the access to work and work quality. These include key lines of segmentation among workers, according to geographical location (between countries and between workers in urban and rural areas), sex and age," said the report.

Source: ILO Report

According to the report, "even when people have a job, there remain significant deficiencies in work quality." Adequacy of wages, the right to job security and a safe and healthy workplace, access to social protection are some of the many factors that determine work quality.

Informal economy strikingly lacks decent working conditions, registering the highest rates of in-work poverty and high shares of people who are own-account self-employed or contributing family workers who lack adequate protection.

The report also claims that the total rate of labour underutilization is more than twice as high as that of unemployment, affecting over 470 million people worldwide.

Dismal performance by low-income countries

The pace and type of economic growth in low‑income countries, threatens the efforts to reduce global poverty and improve working conditions.

"Over the past 18 years, average per capita growth has been only 1.8 per cent in low income countries and the gap with lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries has widened," claimed the report.

Source: ILO Report

To improve the rate of economic growth in low-income countries a shift in the employment activities is required from the low value added to those with higher value yielding professions. However, little advancement has been made in this front and the inequality is on the rise.

Also Read: Transforming the Employment Landscape for The Labour Force

"Between 2000 and 2018, the employment share of agricultural and elementary occupations declined by only 6 percentage points in low-income countries (to 69 per cent), whereas it declined by 10 percentage points (to 49 per cent) in lower‑middle‑income countries and by 15 percentage points (to 32 per cent) in upper-middle-income countries," revealed the report.

Tahira Noor Khan

Former Junior Features Writer


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