The world economy continues to expand at rates well below the trends that preceded the advent of the global crisis in 2008 and is unable to close the significant employment and social gaps that have emerged. The challenge of bringing unemployment and underemployment back to pre-crisis levels now appears as daunting a task as ever, with considerable societal and economic risks associated with this situation.
The global employment gap caused by the crisis continues to widen
This report finds that the global employment outlook will deteriorate in the coming five years. Over 201 million were unemployed in 2014 around the world, over 31 million more than before the start of the global crisis. And, global unemployment is expected to increase by 3 million in 2015 and by a further 8 million in the following four years.
The global employment gap, which measures the number of jobs lost since the start of the crisis, currently stands at 61 million. If new labour market entrants over the next five years are taken into account, an additional 280 million jobs need to be created by 2019 to close the global employment gap caused by the crisis.
Youth, especially young women, continue to be disproportionately affected by unemployment. Almost 74 million young people (aged 15–24) were looking for work in 2014. The youth un- employment rate is practically three times higher than is the case for their adult counterparts. The heightened youth unemployment situation is common to all regions and is occurring despite the trend improvement in educational attainment, thereby fuelling social discontent.
Only one quarter of workers worldwide is estimated to have a stable employment relationship, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 (WESO) finds that, among countries with available data (covering 84 per cent of the global workforce), three quarters of workers are employed on temporary or short-term contracts, in informal jobs often without any contract, under own-account arrangements or in unpaid family jobs.
Over 60 per cent of all workers lack any kind of employment contract, with most of them engaged in own-account* or contributing family work in the developing world. However, even among wage and salaried workers, less than half (42 per cent) are working on a permanent contract.
The first edition of the new, annual flagship report, entitled The Changing Nature of Jobs, shows that while wage and salaried work is growing worldwide, it still accounts for only half of global employment, with wide variations across regions. For example, in the developed economies and Central and South-Eastern Europe, around eight in ten workers are employees, whereas in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa the figure is closer to two in ten.
Another current trend is the rise in part-time employment, especially among women. In the majority of countries with available information, part-time jobs outpaced gains in full-time jobs between 2009 and 2013.
“These new figures point to an increasingly diversified world of work. In some cases, non-standard forms of work can help people get a foothold into the job market. But these emerging trends are also a reflection of the widespread insecurity that’s affecting many workers worldwide today,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder…
Other key trends and data from the report
- At the global level, employment growth has stalled at a rate of around 1.4 per cent annually since 2011. In the developed economies and European Union, employment growth since 2008 has averaged only 0.1 per cent annually, compared with 0.9 per cent between 2000 and 2007.
- Nearly 73 per cent of the global jobs gap in 2014 was due to a shortfall in employment among women who make up only around 40 per cent of the global labour force.
- The direct impact of the global jobs gap on the aggregate wage bill is substantial: it corresponds to an estimated US$ 1.218 trillion in lost wages around the world. This is the equivalent to about 1.2 per cent of total annual global output and approximately 2 per cent of total global consumption.
- In addition to the reduction in the global wage bill due to the jobs gap, slower wage growth has also had a substantial impact on the aggregate wage bill. For example, in the developed economies and the European Union, slower wage growth during the crisis and post-crisis periods corresponded to an estimated $485 billion reduction in the region’s aggregate wage bill in 2013.
- Because of multiplier effects from increased wages, higher consumption, and increased investment levels, closing the global jobs gap would add an estimated $3.7 trillion to global GDP – equal to a one-time, 3.6 per cent boost to global output.
- Across 86 countries covering 65 per cent of global employment, more than 17 per cent of employed persons were working on a part-time basis of less than 30 hours per week. The number of women engaged in part-time employment stood at 24 per cent compared with 12.4 per cent for men.
- Out of 40 countries (representing two thirds of the global labour force), 453 million people were employed in global supply chains in 2013, compared with 296 million in 1995. This represents a share of 20.6 per cent in total employment in the countries covered, compared with 16.4 per cent in 1995.
- At the global level, 52 per cent of employees are currently affiliated to a pension scheme, compared with 16 per cent of the self-employed.
- Nearly 80 per cent of employees with a permanent contract are currently contributing to a pension scheme, compared with just above half (51 per cent) of employees with temporary contracts.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at via World Employment and Social Outlook 2015: ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market.