UN Labor Agency: Global Unemployment to Rise by 2.3 Million in 2016

UN Labor Agency: Global Unemployment to Rise by 2.3 Million in 2016
工人在當年的洛克菲勒中心建築地盤高空午餐。Photo Credit: daily sunnyflickr, CC By 2.0
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The number of unemployed people is estimated to rise by 2.3 million in 2016 and 2.5 million in 2017, which is very likely to top 200 million for the first time ever. The trend will probably cause instability in societies and leave existing jobs vulnerable.

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Translated by Bing-sheng Lee

The International Labor Organization (ILO), a United Nations (UN) agency, published a report on January 19, warning that the global unemployment rate is set to increase, especially in developing economies, in the next two years, despite decreasing unemployment rates in several developed countries.

The number of unemployed people is estimated to rise by 2.3 million in 2016 and 2.5 million in 2017, which is very likely to top 200 million for the first time ever. Economic issues in emerging markets inhibit worldwide unemployment from returning to the pre-crisis level of 2007. The trend will probably cause instability in societies and leave existing jobs vulnerable.

According to the UN report, a complex array of factors leads to the falling employment, including rise in global population, decreasing commodities prices and stagnant economic growth in rising economies. The slowdown of the economies has caused job opportunities in Brazil, China and other oil-producing nations to dwindle, which offsets the optimism seen in developed countries, such as the US and UK.

Guy Ryder, director-general of ILO, says, ”The global economy is not generating enough jobs.” He explains that the significant slowdown in emerging markets compounded by a sharp decline in commodity prices is worsening the gloomy outlook. Ryder suggests the governments create more jobs to avoid potential social tension and unrest.

The job creation in the US and Europe can slightly diminish the effect of the global unemployment rate, but is unlikely to have a significant impact in reducing the overall percentage. The ILO also points out that the recent employment recovery in Europe has come at the cost of job quality with part-time and temporary employment accounting for a higher-than-usual share of new jobs.

Ryder says, ”The fact of being at work does not necessarily lead to an escape from poverty. The lack of decent jobs leads people to turn to informal unemployment, which is typically characterized by low productivity, low pay and no social protection.” He adds that in both developing and developed nations, an increasing number of people are forced to take underpaid jobs.

The International Monetary Fund has also added to the concerns about the global economy by cutting its growth forecasts for the next two years and warning that recovery from the financial crisis could be derailed altogether if key challenges are mishandled.

Edited by Olivia Yang
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