Friday, February 10, 2012


As you can see in the picture, young people are very creative with little money to earn an income. (Veracruz, Mexico)
The ILO published its annual Report on Global Unemployment 2012. It is a report full of statistics nearly beyond our imagination. The ILO press release announcing the report starts with the conclusion that “the world faces the ‘urgent challenge’ of creating 600 million productive jobs over the next decade in order to generate sustainable growth and maintain social cohesion”.

400 million new jobs
The ILO report continues with such astronomical figures as “more than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next decade to absorb the estimated 40 million growth of the labour force every year. In addition the report says that “the world faces the additional challenge of creating decent jobs for the estimated 900 million workers living with their families below the US$ 2 a day poverty line, mostly in developing countries.”

Youth unemployment
The report confirms the trend that youth aged between 15-24 are the most
affected by unemployment. An estimated 75 million young people are unemployed. Globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed.

Growing labour force
But not every outlook is just black. The report also concludes that “favourable economic conditions pushed job creation rates above labour force growth, thereby supporting domestic demand, in particular in larger emerging economies in Latin America and East Asia.”

This guy tries to earn an income with minimal investment by a diversion of a highway. (Mexico)
Labour productivity gap
Another positive sign is that “the labour productivity gap between the developed and the developing world  - an important indicator measuring the convergence of income levels across countries – has narrowed over the past two decades. But there is still a lot to do. Output per worker in the Developed economies and European region was US$ 72,900 in 2011 versus an average of US$ 13,600 in developing regions.

What should be done?
The ILO believes that the real job machine will be the private sector and therefore calls policy-makers to act “decisively and in coordinated fashion to reduce the fear and uncertainty that is hindering private investment.”

In a clear warning to be careful with measures to control the state debt crises, like is going on in the Eurozone, the report says “that in times of faltering demand further stimulus is important and this can be done in a way that does not put the sustainability of public finances at risk. The report calls for fiscal consolidation efforts to be carried out in a socially responsible manner, with growth and employment prospects as guiding principles.”

The balancing act of this artist can be seen as a metaphor for many people in developing countries balancing on the edge of poverty due to a shortage of well paid jobs.(Veracruz, Mexico)
It goes without saying that what will be a “socially responsible manner” , will be the subject of a political battle. Trade unions have to raise their voice in this political battle as to show that they are willing to contribute to a solution

You can find on the ILO site an animated infographic for the main findings of the report, a press release and a link for downloading the complete report in different languages.

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